President Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, before answering the specific questions you have raised, I would like to thank you for this invitation. I want to thank you for this invitation today and for the invitation to visit Bavaria four months ago.
I have particularly fond recollections of the visit to that little restaurant near Munich where you and I were able to spend some free time together. I don’t remember its name now, but I do remember what a warm welcome the local residents gave us, and this will remain in my memories. Please pass on my very best wishes.
I would like to note that relations between Russia as a whole and between individual Russian regions and Bavaria are developing very actively.
Trade turnover between Russian and Bavarian companies now comes to more than five billion euros, and Bavarian companies account for two thirds of German investment in the Russian economy. We value this greatly, of course. I know that you are developing particularly close relations with individual Russian regions: with Sverdlovsk Region, with Moscow, and with several others.
You told me yesterday about your initiative to expand cooperation between Moscow Technical University and the Bavarian Technical University. I can only regret that I did not come up with this initiative myself and am not taking personal part in it. I can only say that I am grateful for this initiative. It is direct contacts such as these between the young people in our respective countries that create good prospects for future cooperation.
Regarding the mass media market, I can say that German companies are quite well represented on the Russian market. German capital is also present in the electronic media, at national level, too. It is even more present in the print media in our country, especially in the segment of glossy magazines. The transition from the analogue to the digital system is a very big business, of course, one worth billions of dollars and euros. This is the right moment, of course, to begin discussions on this issue, because this is an issue of choosing our development vector and choosing the corresponding systems. I want to emphasise that we see this as being above all a business issue. But at government level we will, of course, do all we can to support the development of ties with foreign partners, including from Bavaria.