President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ms Federal Chancellor, ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the hosts I would like to welcome all participants in the intergovernmental consultations here in the Urals. This occasion is a new opportunity for us to meet personally with the new members of the German Government. I hope your working relationship with your Russian colleagues will be both productive and friendly.
I am glad that our meeting is taking place here in Yekaterinburg, an industrial city, the heart of industrial Russia, which concentrates enormous natural resources, technologies and major companies and where our project Partnership for Modernisation can be successfully realised. As you know, Yekaterinburg is also the venue for the project called Yekaterinburg, an Energy Efficient City, which we will implement jointly.
I would like to note that since the Munich round of intergovernmental consultations nearly all aspects of our ties have been developing dynamically. We have reviewed the entire range of issues, economic, political and historic, and taken part in the Petersburg Dialogue Russian-German Public Forum.
I think our discussion today should be pragmatic, as always. Our colleagues, heads of different ministries, will make brief presentations.
I would describe the state of our relations as good: the trade turnover is gaining momentum, as we noted during the meeting with business leaders. We are making a transition from relations based on the trade model to investment, production, research and technology cooperation. Yesterday we agreed to make 2011 the year of Russian-German scientific achievements and research, and I believe it is an excellent idea that will bring us closer to reaching the objectives we have set for ourselves.
We have a number of landmark projects, but I won’t talk about them. There are international issues and there are the close contacts between our two nations within the G8 and G20 formats, which is undoubtedly useful for our states, for our economies, and for our people. There are humanitarian ties, cultural and educational contacts and youth exchanges, which we discussed just now at the Petersburg Dialogue forum. We hope there are good prospects, as our ministers are about to tell us and we can talk about them in detail.