German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin deliver statements ahead of a meeting at the German Federal Government’s guest house Schloss Meseberg.
(Chancellor of Germany – translated)
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome! Russian president here. This will afford us an opportunity to continue our dialogue considering that we have so many series conflicts in the world we need to look for solutions. We have special responsibilities both Germany and especially Russia because Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. We need solutions to all those problems primarily Ukraine this is something we’ve been working on for a long time. I have to say that so far we don’t have stable ceasefire, so seeing that school year will start soon, I hope that we could discuss a lasting ceasefire and set up a commission that would contribute to the peace process. Germany is ready to get involved in this work.
We will also talk about gas transit. I think that Ukraine should continue to be involved in gas transit to Europe even after the Nordstrom to pipeline is launched. Another important subject is Syria of course, we should do something about the humanitarian disaster in this country. Some progress has been made but the situation is far from being normal, so we particularly hope that we could take some specific steps with the Constitutional Commission. We support the efforts by U.N special envoy Staffan de Mistura on the joint comprehensive plan of action with Iran. We would like to preserve this deal, but we are also concerned about the missile program of Iran. So we’ll also discuss this subject. This is something that we’ve been talking to Minister Lavrov about earlier.
We will also discuss our bilateral relations. Naturally we have the year of Russia in Germany in the year of Germany in Russia. This is a good opportunity to learn more about each other and continue our dialogue. I really hope that our civil societies can work together. I think all matters can be resolved through dialogue, so I really look forward to these talks. Now I would ask President Putin to say a few words.
(Russian President – translated)
I’m very happy that we have an opportunity to have this working meeting where we can talk about our bilateral relations and issues on the international agenda. Russia thinks it is extremely important to work with Germany on a variety of issues. We’ll talk about our trade. Germany is one of our leading partners in trade, last year our trade grew by 22% reaching 50 billion dollars, and from January to June this year we added another 25%. German investment in Russia exceed 17 billion dollars over 5,000. German companies work in Russia with the total volume of creative over 50 billion dollars and over 270,000 employees. On the other hand we have 1,500 Russian companies working in Germany, contributing over 8 billion dollars to various sectors of the German economy, in particular we cooperate in the energy sector. Germany is one of the primary buyers of Russian energy resources. We’ve supplied 38 million cubic meters of gas to Germany. Consumption of Russian gas in Germany keeps growing. This year it increased by 13%.
Germany is not just a major market for Russian exporters, it also plays an important role in transit to other European countries. This year marks 50 years since the beginning of Russian gas deliveries to Western Europe throughout this time. Russia has been a reliable partner delivering natural gas to Europe making an important contribution to energy security throughout the European continent. Working together with our German partners, we build the Nord Stream tooth project, we hope that this project will improve the European energy system diversify gas delivery routes and will meet the increasing demand of the European economy.
In natural gas once again, I’d like to stress that Nordstrom too is a purely economic project. It does not mean that gas transit through Ukraine will now stop. I’m aware of the federal Chancellor’s position she keeps raising this issue. All that matters to us is that this transit is economically feasible and makes economic sense. We hope that we expand our cooperation in other areas as well. As regards industrial cooperation localizing production of high-tech products in Russia. We discussed such projects at the st. Petersburg Economic Forum.
We’re also developing our humanitarian cooperation. We’ll have a year of cooperation between municipalities and regional authorities. There is also a year of scientific partnership, a year of Germany in Russia, and vice-versa. We are also rebuilding our ties between the two Parliament’s in June. We had a delegation of Bundestag visiting our Parliament in Moscow. We’ve set up a bar lateral Commission which involves the State Duma representatives and members of Bundestag. Our civil societies continue working together as part of the st. Petersburg dialogue.
As regards international issues, madam Chancellor just mentioned some of the things that we are going to discuss today. We’ll talk about the situation with the Iranian nuclear program and the joint comprehensive plan of action. It is extremely important to preserve the deal which has been reached with the direct involvement of the UN Security Council, strengthening non-proliferation regime. We will also talk about the Middle East of-course, and Syria specifically. We need to step up our humanity efforts in the Syrian conflict. We need to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Syria. We need to help the areas where refugees can return. I’m now talking about refugees living in Europe of course. In Jordan there are millions of refugees, in Lebanon, in Turkey there are 3 million refugees. This is huge burden for Europe so we should do our best to help those people return to their homes. We need to help rebuild water supply, sewers, healthcare services. I think everybody is interested in that of course. We’ll also talk about it as madam Chancellor has said, given the current state of the crisis unfortunately we don’t see much progress.
We don’t see the Minsk agreements being implemented. We will continue working in the Normandy, and we’ll continue providing assistance to the UN mission working there. Hopefully we will make progress in this area as well. So, in general, we have a lot of things we need to cover once again. I would like to say I’m grateful to madam Chancellor for this opportunity.