Last Saturday Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel visited Moscow. Her visit corresponded with International Woman Day which is celebrated on the 8th of March. More importantly, though, Merkel was the first foreign leader to meet not only the current President, but also with President-elect Dmitry Medvedev. Thus, her visit was divided into two parts formal part and informal one.
Putin met Merkel in his residence in Novo-Ogarevo and reviewed the results of collaboration between Russia and Germany:
I hope it is not the last meeting with Frau Chancellor, but it is our last meeting while I am President. Our cooperation has been very good. For last 6 years goods turnover has increased 3.5 times and reached 50 billion dollars.
Frau Chancellor agreed with him and said that it was necessary to look in future for more intensive cooperation between Russia and Germany. Moreover Putin and Merkel also held two-way negotiations and discussed questions of economic cooperation and current world problems.
Russia & Germany: what awaits us?
Some of the results of these negotiations reported during a press-conference, which was organized for German and Russian journalists.
Russias President stated that Russia would provide energy for Europe, and to ensure a more reliable supply, Russia will begin construction of gas-pipe with collaboration of Germany. This pipe will run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea and will provide a permanent supply of gas for European consumers. Also Putin promised to continue cooperation with Berlin to settle the situation about Iran, Afganistan and Middle East.
Merkel agreed with Putin, but added that, when it comes to diplomatic problems, each country has its own point of vew. The difference between both leaders points of view became clear when the press began to ask questions. For example, Putin called NATOs expansion as not efficient and even harmful. He said: I have the impression that the NATO block wants to replace the UN. It forces Ukraine to enter, but people there dont want it. On the contrary, Merkel considered that NATO is open to everybody, and had only function was defence against terrorism and other global chanllenges.
The Russian President also called the proclamation of Kosovos independence a precedent which would have consequences not only in Europe, but in many regions of the world. Merkel replied that Kosovo was a unique case.
At end of the press-conference Merkel said that she would be glad to work with the new Russian President – Dmitry Medevev – and she hoped that cooperation between Russia and Germany would be as intensive as it was with Putin.
Putin resumed the press-conference with the provocative statement:
I see that some people are waiting for me to leave the post. They think that with another person as the President, things will be much easier. Medvedev doesnt have the label of KGB person, but he is the same Russian nationalist (in good sense) as me. He is real patriot of his country and will be active in defending Russians interest in world politics
In my opinion Putin with his statement gave another opportunity for world society to discuss who is the boss in the duet Putin or Medvedev? But one thing now is clear: other political leaders cant be relaxed with Russias new president. Russia will continue to defend its interests in the international arena.