Annual Russian-German forum concludes

Friday, November 16, 2012
Putin with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel
[PHOTO: The Presidential Press and Information Office] 
St. Petersburg: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel today took part in the closing session of the XII Petersburg Dialogue Russian-German public forum.

The main theme at this year’s forum was Russia and Germany: The Information Society Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century.

Addressing the forum, Putin said, “Petersburg Dialogue has become an important platform for developing new ideas and public initiatives, including within the large-scale Partnership for Modernisation programme. This programme has already been tried and tested at the bilateral Russian-German level, and will now serve as the basis for building relations between Russia and the European Union.”

He further said, "I note by the way that Germany is one of our biggest trade and economic partners. It was our biggest partner until just recently. The People’s Republic of China is now in the number one spot, but Germany holds a strong second place. Germany is our biggest partner in Europe in any case. In this respect, our ties in all different areas, including humanitarian ties, cultural exchanges and so on, are all extremely important as they strengthen the general base for cooperation.”

Petersburg Dialogue is an open forum for discussing current issues in Russian-German relations. Meetings take place every year, alternating between the two countries, with politicians, academics, cultural figures, and journalists from both countries taking part.
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