President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Vice Chancellor, colleagues,
First of all, I would like to once again congratulate the Free Democratic Party on its success in the Bundestag election and congratulate you on your new position. We count on you as a reliable partner during talks aimed to strengthen relations between our nations and to jointly promote a variety of projects that are important for Europe.
Mr Minister, in a car on my way to a meeting I was watching the news conference you and [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov gave, and I liked it. Both you and Mr Lavrov were asked some acute questions which indicates the agenda for our relations remains as extensive as it was before. Indeed, we have regular contacts and continuously exchange opinions on many issues.
We just had EU-Russia summit, an event of a major general format. On the other hand we also have regular Russian-German forums and a serious progress has been made in recent years. I believe that our relations are currently at a very good level and our economic ties are very close. In spite of the crisis, we continue to have the relations of two major strategic partners mutually seeking out a variety of interesting projects.
We are also close partners on international security issues. We hold regular consultations, jointly resolve various problems, and respond to multiple present-day challenges on our planet. These are not just economic challenges, but regional challenges as well. Indeed, you and Mr Lavrov discussed these very topics today. I hope that you have come up with some new, interesting ideas, particularly in regard to the subjects that are at the moment of particular concern to us – I am referring to Iran’s nuclear programme, the Middle East peace process, and several other items that are always on our common agenda.
Thus, I would like to warmly welcome you to the Russian Federation. I hope that you will now regularly visit our nation. I know you have not been to Russia very often in the past, but now, you will have to come much more frequently, and we will be pleased to welcome you.
German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (as translated into Russian): Mr President,
Thank you very much for making the time to meet with us. I am honoured to make your acquaintance.
First of all, I would like to thank you for your visit to Germany, where you joined us to celebrate a date of special importance for us: November 9. This is a good sign demonstrating that relations between our nations remain stable and positive.
We see you and your country as a strategic partner for Germany and for the European Union. We are convinced that our bilateral relations are not based on economic and trade ties alone. Our ties in culture and education are also important. We have begun a very extensive dialogue on issues ranging from the rule of law to youth exchange programmes.
I am very happy that we will continue our cooperation.