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Germany remains Russia's leading partner — Putin

Vladimir Putin points to growth of Russia-Germany trade turnover

SOCHI, 2 May. /TASS/. Russia seeks to build cooperation with Germany on the principles of mutual benefit, respect and equality and each other's interests, Russian President Vladimir Putin said following the results of the first round of negotiations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Despite the known political difficulties and fluctuations in the global economic environment, Germany remains the leading foreign economic partner of our country," Putin said.

The President noted growth of bilateral trade. "In January-February, its volume increased by 43%," he said, adding that Germany is the largest buyer of Russian natural gas. Russian supplies cover 35% of the German market’s needs. At the same time, Germany ranks first in terms of investments in the Russian economy - with more than $16 bln of investment.

According to Putin, Russia has around 5,000 enterprises with German capital, their total turnover exceeds $50 bln.

"Our cooperation is a significant contribution into stabilization of the global economy," Putin said. These relations have development 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.

The G20 "will definitely discuss what can and should be done to eliminate restrictions in development of the world’s economy," the Russian leader said.

"Dozens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs are supported" in Germany and in Russia owing to bilateral cooperation, Putin said. Germany is ranked second after China in terms of trade turnover with Russia, he said. The trade turnover between countries surged 43% in the first two months of 2017 and "this is already a good indicator," the Russian President added.

Germany is also a leader in investments into the Russian economy amounting to more than $16 bln, Putin said. Russia’s investments into the German economy are about $8.5 bln.

Putin said he was satisfied with the resuming activities of the Russian-German interdepartmental working group responsible for the strategic issues of economic and financial cooperation. Its goal is to establish interaction between the business circles of the two countries. Putin said he hopes that business actively participates in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.