Russia, Germany vow to strengthen cooperation at Berlin talks

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have pledged to strengthen economic ties between their countries.

Speaking to the media after talks in Berlin, Merkel and Putin promised to clear the path for business links and develop science and technology together. Putin added that he doesn't see any obstacles to Russia's accession to the WTO, while Merkel said Europe should leave behind its Cold War mentality.

The talks went in such a positive direction that even the possibility of a currency union between Russia and the European Union was discussed.

“As for the currency union, we all realize that it’s the derivative of putting the economies together, and it depends on the level of the economies’ development. It has to become mature, but on the whole I don’t rule out forms of cooperation between us,”

Putin told the media.

Merkel named Russia Germany’s most important partner: indeed, the total trade turnover between the two countries this year is nearing 6 billion euros. She said there was even more room for developing this cooperation.

“Prime Minister Putin suggested having a free trade zone between Europe and Russia in the future, and I agree with that. I think Russia and Europe are strategic partners. But of course, they have to broaden and develop their potential,”

Merkel said, referring to Putin’s suggestion to create a free-trade zone that would include the area from Lisbon to Vladivistok.