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Merkel-Putin meeting round-up

May 02, 14:33 updated at: May 02, 17:38 UTC+3

Vladimir Putin says cooperation between Moscow and Berlin is important for ensuring peace and stability in Europe

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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool

SOCHI, May 2. /TASS/. Vladimir Putin declared that Russia is prepared to work for a successful and fruitful G20 summit in Hamburg in July.

"As far as preparations for the forthcoming G20 summit are concerned, we will discuss them in detail at a working breakfast," Putin said after talks with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Russia is prepared to furnish all needed assistance to Germany’s presidency to ensure the summit in Hamburg is productive, and to make fundamental, unanimous decisions on the most acute economic and financial issues."

"As far as preparations for the forthcoming G20 summit are concerned, we will discuss them in detail at a working breakfast," Putin continued.

Moscow and Berlin cooperated productively within the G20 on such matters as the struggle against financing terrorism, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption.

Cooperation between Russia and Germany has significantly contributed to the stability of the global economy and the remaining problems will be discussed within and outside the framework of the G20, Putin reiterated:

"Our cooperation is a significant contribution to the stabilization of the global economy,” the Russian leader said. These relations have growth prospects, the Russian President said. "Loads of problems still exist and there have been a lot of obstacles but we are exactly going to discuss that within the G20 negotiation process suggested by Germany and beyond its framework," he added.

"Thank you very much for Russia’s role of a constructive partner in organizing the G20 summit in Hamburg," Merkel said.

Besides, the German leader pointed to the favorable development of economic relations between Moscow and Berlin.

Germany holds the rotating presidency of the G20 this year.

Russian-German cooperation

Cooperation between Moscow and Berlin is important for ensuring peace and stability in Europe, Putin said.

"In the years that have gone by following World War II, Russia and Germany have traveled a long way to rapprochement," Putin said. "Our common goal is to preserve the previously gained experience and foster bilateral cooperation in the name of peace and stability in Europe," he added.

When going into detail on his talks with Merkel, Putin said that his meetings with the German chancellor always took place in an open atmosphere.

Involvement in the US election

Putin said there is no evidence to confirm allegations about Russia’s involvement in the US elections as such publications stem from a political struggle within Washington.

When asked by a German journalist about Moscow’s alleged plans of involvement in Germany’s political race, Putin said, "We have cited the example of the United States which has no evidence to prove it. It’s nothing but mere rumors used in the US’ domestic political struggle. And you use it right away to make ungrounded guesses about European states, even about such a friendly country as Germany."

"It is quite strange," Putin highlighted.

Foreign policy

Putin stressed that Russia has not been interfering in the political activity of other countries and expects the same approach towards it.

"We have never meddled into either the political life or political processes in other countries. We would very much want that no one interferes in our political life - the political life of Russia. Unfortunately, we are seeing quite the opposite. We have been observing attempts over many years to influence internal political processes in Russia," Putin noted.

This interference in Russia’s internal political processes is seen both through non-governmental organizations and directly, the Russian president said.

"As we have observed all the pernicious nature and futility of such attempts, it has never come to our minds to meddle in the political process of other countries," the Russian leader said.

Ukraine crisis and Minsk agreements 

The need for strict observance of the Minsk agreement by all the parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine was at the heart of the talks between the Russian president and the German chancellor:

"Today, we once again reiterated the necessity of the strict observance to the Minsk agreements by the parties to the conflict and agreed that the disengagement of forces and weapons should be among the priorities as it will make it possible to end the shelling, establish direct dialogue between Kiev and the unrecognized republics, legalize their special status and hold elections their on this basis," the president stressed.

Putin is certain that to implement the Minsk Accords it is essential to achieve a direct dialogue between Kiev and the Donbass republics:

"The Kiev authorities and representatives of these self-proclaimed republics must be brought to the negotiating table at last."

He hopes that such a dialogue will be established sooner or later.

"It is impossible to achieve a settlement to the conflict without direct talks between the conflicting factions. It has never happened otherwise elsewhere in the world," Putin said.

"I am deeply certain that the authorities in Kiev missed the chance to implement the Minsk Accords even when they had the internal political opportunities for that," the Russian president told reporters. "Today these opportunities are becoming fewer and narrower."

The situation in Ukraine’s politics and economy are the reason for that, Putin believes. He urged the systematic implementation of the previously achieved agreements on the situation in Ukraine.

"It is impossible to build new plans without achieving the implementation of the previous ones first," he said.

As he dwelt upon the activities of the Normandy Quartet, Putin said that "if that format had not existed, the current state of affairs would have been far worse than it is today and that would be a certain outcome."

The situation in Donbass has been deteriorating as Kiev has been imposing blockades on the region, the Russian president emphasized.

Putin stated that "these territories [Donbass] did not split off."

"The Ukrainian authorities are separating them by imposing blockades," Putin stressed. According to the Russian leader, this is the reason why the self-proclaimed Donbass republics had to introduce other currencies instead of the Ukrainian hryvnia, including the Russian ruble. Besides, they also had to introduce temporary administrations at local enterprises that had lost the opportunity to receive raw materials from Ukraine and deliver their goods there.

War on terror

Germany and Russia can maintain close cooperation on issues of combating international terrorism, Angela Merkel said.

"We share the same position in what concerns fight against international terrorism. Germany and Russia can cooperate even closer in this area," she said.

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