MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting with representatives of largest German companies, the Kremlin press service said. The meeting will focus on developing trade and economic relations between Russia and Germany, and implementing large-scale joint projects.
"On November 1, Vladimir Putin will meet with representatives of largest German companies and of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations. They will discuss issues of the conditions and prospects for developing trade and economic relations between Russia and Germany, implementing large-scale joint projects, including in the spheres of energy, industrial cooperation, digital economy and agriculture," the Kremlin press service said.
TASS reports that among those invited to the meeting are the chairman of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations Wolfgang Buechele and its executive director Michael Harms, chairman of the board of the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce Matthias Schepp, as well as representatives of companies Nord Stream, Knauf Gips, Volkswagen, BASF, Uniper, and others.
On top of the agenda
One of the largest projects implemented by the Russian side with participation of German companies is the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, two lines of which are planned to be built by the end of 2019. Russian Gazprom's partners in this project are Germany's Wintershall and Uniper, Austria's OMV, France's Engie and British-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell.
US speak out against the new gas pipeline connecting Russia and Europe as it bypasses transit countries. Washington threatens imposing sanctions against the project, including against its European participants. The Russian authorities think that this opposition to the project might be connected to US attempts to boost deliveries of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe, which is considerably more expensive than Russia's pipeline gas. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Nord Stream 2 is mainly a commercial project. She added that Ukraine should maintain its role as a transit country when the new gas pipeline is opened.
Germany is one of Russia's traditional key trade partners. In 2017, the bilateral turnover grew for the first time since the imposition of anti-Russian sanctions in 2014. The turnover increased by 22.8% and reached $50 bln. In the first eight months of 2018, the volume of bilateral trade has grown by almost 25% compared to the same period last year. Russian exports to Germany grew by 35% and reached $22.1 bln, while imports increased by 12% to $16.9 bln.