Russian President and German Chancellor to meet in the Urals

Two-day Russian-German inter-state consultations will begin in the major industrial and administrative center of the Urals region, Yekaterinburg, on Wednesday, October 8. Taking part in them will be Russian president Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Deputy chief of the presidential administration Sergei Prikhodko reported that Germany is the leading foreign trade partner of Russia. Bilateral trade turnover made up 24.7 billion euros in 2002.

According to the Kremlin representative, the sides plan to discuss in Yekaterinburg collaboration in power engineering and the use of energy saving technologies.

They will also touch upon the possible parameters of German participation in the construction of the North European gas pipeline," he said.

In addition, the sides will consider the participation of Germany in building the ferry passage between Russia's Ust-Luga (the Baltic port near St. Petersburg) and Germany's ports.

It is expected that Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schroeder will also discuss cooperation between Moscow and Berlin in the Global Partnership program.

According to Prikhodko, Germany is one of the most active Russian partners in the utilization of the nuclear submarines. Germany earmarked 94.2 million euros for this program this year alone and is planning to allocate 1.5 billion euros over the coming 10 years.

A number of documents will be signed on the results of the summit. It is planned, the Moscow diplomatic source reported, to sign an agreement on the transit of the military property and personnel from Germany to Afghanistan via Russia. The Russian side hopes that within the framework of the summit an agreement on cooperation in studying the Russian language in Germany and the German language in Russia will be signed, and statement adopted on prolonging for another two years the program of cooperation in training managing personnel.

A number of commercial contracts between Russian and German companies in the gas and railway transport spheres are expected to be signed.

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