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Putin, Merkel having bilateral meeting on sidelines of Istanbul summit on Syria

Russian and Germany continue to foster an active dialogue, despite Berlin’s stance on the Ukrainian crisis

ISTANBUL, October 27. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are having a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the quadrilateral summit on the Syrian settlement to be held later on Saturday.

The two countries continue to foster an active dialogue, despite Berlin’s stance on the Ukrainian crisis, the Kremlin notes. In May 2018, German Chancellor came for talks with Russian President to Sochi, while in August Putin visited Germany at Merkel’s invitation paying the first working visit to the country since 2013.

The high-level working group on strategic economic and financial cooperation between the two countries set up in 2000 resumed operations in 2016 after a break related to Germany’s position on the situation around Ukraine. Its latest meeting was held in Moscow in June 2018, while the date of the next meeting is being negotiated now. According to the Kremlin press service, it may take place in Berlin in December 2018. The high-level bilateral working group on the issues of security strategy set up in 2003 resumed work in 2017.

In 2017, the trade between Russia and Germany gained 22.8% to $50 bln. "In January-August 2018, the Russian-German trade increased by 24% (plus $7.5 bln) compared with the same period in 2017 to $39 bln. Russian exports to Germany rose by 35% to $22.1 bln, while imports grew by 12% to $16.9 bln," according to the Kremlin press service’s documents prepared for Putin’s visit to Istanbul. The total amount of accumulated German investments in the Russian Federation exceeds $18 bln, while Russian investments in Germany stand at $8.1 bln.