President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Madam Federal Chancellor, colleagues, good afternoon.
First of all, let me thank you for coming here to pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the fight against Nazism during World War II and the Great Patriotic War.
As you know, we have done a great deal to put relations between Russia and Germany on as successful a track as possible, and we have achieved much in this work.
We do face some problems today, but the sooner we can end their negative impact on our relations, the better it will be, and this is what we are striving towards.
I hope that our meeting today will give us the chance to discuss our bilateral relations and development of Russia’s ties with the European Union in general. Of course, I also hope to discuss with you the most serious problems we face at the moment, including the situation in Ukraine.
Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel (retranslated): Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come here today. It was very important for me to be able to visit now, as we mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, to honour the memory of the millions of victims, pay tribute to the people from what was then the Soviet Union, who gave their lives, and say to the people of Russia that we bow our heads before them.
We have learned lessons from our painful experience. We have learned that we must work together, cooperate, including in difficult situations, situations like the one we face now, and seek peaceful, diplomatic solutions together.
It is therefore a good thing that we have this chance today to discuss our bilateral relations, the ties between Russia and the EU, and discuss too, of course, matters concerning Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
I am pleased to be able to hold these talks with you and I want to thank you once again.