Boosting trade and reaffirming ties are among the top priorities as Dmitry Medvedev meets Angela Merkel in Germany. The Russian president is also focusing on the growth of small business, as he is set to meet entrepreneurs from both countries.
Medvedev started his working visit to Germany with a dinner with Chancellor Angela Merkel at a forest lake in Hanover.
The main events are scheduled for Tuesday, July 19. Medvedev will meet with members of the Russian and German business communities and then members of the youth parliament.
Medvedev and Merkel will also attend the 13th round of Russian-German interstate consultations in Hanover at the 11th meeting of the Forum of Russian and German Civil Societies “St. Petersburg Dialogue”.
Germany and Russia already have strong ties as trading partners, and the announcement by Germany that it plans to shut all its nuclear power stations in the light of the Fukushima accident in Japan gives Russia’s Gazprom an opportunity to expand in Germany. The company is hoping to tie up some deals in Hanover.
Gazprom sees Germany as a stepping stone to the whole EU market. Germany really hopes to expand on the relationship with Russia tapping into Dmitry Medvedev’s vast modernization program for the country.
Germany also hopes to snap up some deals in Russia – especially now that Angela Merkel faces criticism for potentially agreeing to bail out the failing economies of Portugal and Greece, and the news that the economic crisis could be spreading to Italy and Spain becomes of even greater concern to Germans.
Germany assumed presidency of the UN Security Council at the start of this month. With that in mind, Russia hopes that Germany can help bring NATO round to the view that there should be a joint missile-defense system for the whole of Europe, as there are concerns in Moscow that the NATO-only missile-defense system could be turned against Russia.
Russia and Germany are also the countries which abstained on the UN vote authorizing NATO action in Libya and they both want to stop further escalation of the violence there.
During Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Germany both countries will be looking to strengthen their already strong relationship in a range of issues on which they share a common position.