President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Vice Chancellor, it gives me pleasure to welcome you.
I am pleased at this new meeting, which continues on from the talks begun in Yekaterinburg.
I would like to begin by noting that Russian-German relations have reached a very level. This is a sign of our ties and, more importantly, indicates the growing possibilities for trade and economic cooperation and contacts between our two countries’ peoples.
Given the privileged nature of our relations, my first visit to Europe at the beginning of June will be to Germany, where I will be able to continue our discussing with the Federal Chancellor and with you the current issues on our agenda.
Trade between our two countries has reached a very impressive level indeed. Our data puts it at more than $50 billion now, and German data puts it at a little over 56 billion euros. This is also a sign of the level our trade and economic ties have reached.
There are a number of interesting social initiatives that we discussed earlier, and some of them are already being carried out. I think we could also continue our discussion on their implementation.
I am very happy to see you here in Moscow, Frank.
Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier: Mr President,
I arrived a few days after your inauguration and I would like to congratulate you on behalf of the federal government of the Federal Republic of Germany. I wish you the energy, creative strength and good luck that you will need to carry out your important work.
As for the quality of relations between our countries, after coming back from Yekaterinburg I can say that I saw there that we are building our relations not just in the economy but in other areas as well. I learned there about the large number of various projects in the areas of scientific research and relations between universities, for example. I also learned that so many Russian students – 12,000 – are studying in Germany.
As you mentioned, there are many different tasks that we must work on.
I want to say that we will be happy to see you during your first official visit to Germany, and we will be happy to continue our cooperation.