The discussion focused on topical issues of the bilateral and international agenda, including the provision of long-term and legally binding security guarantees to the Russian Federation and the resolution of the intra-Ukrainian conflict.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Federal Chancellor,
I am delighted to meet and become acquainted with you and to receive you in Moscow.
I would like to note immediately that the Federal Republic of Germany ranks among our priority partners per se and in Europe in particular. Speaking of the European dimension, it is our largest trade and economic partner.
In this connection, I would like to note that, despite all the difficulties of the pandemic period, the level of our trade adjusted slightly in 2020, but increased by over 36 percent last year. This is, of course, a good indicator.
Hundreds of German companies operate in Russia, one way or another, and they have invested more than US$20 billion in the Russian economy. In turn, Russian companies have invested just over US$10 billion, and this is also a good contribution to the development of the German economy and maintaining jobs.
Recently, we have undertaken intensive joint efforts to diversify our relations, and they are really developing in different fields – but, traditionally, the energy industry has naturally been a priority area. I will not list all the figures, which are basically well known; we can also mention this at today’s news conference. Russia has been a reliable energy supplier for decades – and throughout this period, no failure has occurred in deliveries of energy resources from Russia as all our activities are based on market principles, with absolutely no questions or doubts in this regard.
The partners, the participants in economic activities have known each other for quite a while, and the level of trust between them is high. Moreover, we have made a decision that is unprecedented to a certain extent – namely, we have allowed our German partners to access our production assets. We work jointly to organise transport deliveries; our companies operate in the Federal Republic of Germany.
As I have mentioned, we have many other issues to discuss as well – but today we will pay particular attention to addressing the developments in Europe related to security and the contentious debates that have now unfolded on this issue, including the events around Ukraine.
In any case, all of this is of great mutual interest to us. I am very glad to see you.
Just recently, I received my French counterpart here, and we also thoroughly discussed all these issues. I know that he informed you on the essence of the subjects that were raised during our discussion.
And of course, I would find it very useful and interesting to hear your own assessments of the current developments.
Once again, welcome. I am very pleased to see you.
Federal Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz (retranslated): Thank you very much.
I am glad too that our meeting is taking place.
I have just assumed office as Chancellor, and for me, Germany-Russia history is something special. Given our history, it is very good that we have such close economic ties, as you have noted, and that they continue to develop.
It is clearly obvious that now, amidst the current complicated developments regarding peace and security in Europe, we must communicate, just as you already have with my French counterpart. I am glad that we now have this opportunity to discuss all these matters. It is very important that issues between countries are always resolved through dialogue.