The presidents discussed further prospects of bilateral relations.
Attending the talks on the Russian side were Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov. The German delegation consisted of State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office Stephan Steinlein, and German Ambassador to Russia Rudiger von Fritsch.
Mr Frank-Walter Steinmeier is in Moscow on a working visit at the invitation of the Russian President.
Following the talks, Vladimir Putin and Frank-Walter Steinmeier made statements for the press.
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Beginning of meeting with President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to Moscow, to the Kremlin.
We met in Moscow 18 months ago, sometime in the spring of 2016. We are very pleased that the dialogue with the Federal Republic continues.
Mr President, you are very deeply involved in all the processes of bilateral relations. Over the years, you headed the corresponding departments in the government and then were Foreign Minister for a long time, and Vice-Chancellor. You are aware of all our issues.
We continue our contacts with the Federal Chancellor, Ms Merkel. It is a pleasure to receive the President of the Federal Republic. Let me express my hope that your visit will be a good impetus to developing bilateral relations and serve to strengthen our interstate relations.
(Speaks German.) Herzlich willkommen. [Welcome.]
Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier (retranslated) Thank you.
As you are aware, this is not my first visit to Moscow, but my first visit as Federal President. I am very pleased to be here today.
Now, at the very beginning of our meeting, I would like to cordially thank you for the opportunity that I have today to participate in the ceremony of transferring the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia.
I am also very happy that a solution was found to the situation surrounding the German-Russian House in Kaliningrad. I believe it is necessary to use our capabilities as presidents to continue the dialogue and to try to determine how to improve relations, with which we cannot be satisfied right now.
In any case, I am convinced that we need to overcome the alienation that has set in between our countries in the past years. To do so, it is necessary to continue our dialogue. There must be long-term attempts on both sides to find solutions to overcoming crises.
In short, I would like to contribute to improving relations between Russia and Germany in my new role as Federal President. I hope that our conversation today and similar conversations in the future will help me to accomplish this.
I would like to thank you for the invitation.