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5 Jun, 2010 10:57

Medvedev puts burning issues on Merkel’s table

European security, Iran's nuclear program, the Middle East and the fate of the euro – all were topics discussed by the Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the Russian President’s visit to Germany.

The two-day visit started on Friday with an informal dinner and a stroll in the Meseberg Presidential Residence near the capital, Berlin.

On Saturday, Dmitry Medvedev and Angela Merkel focused on international issues – Russia's initiative for a new Pan-European security agreement was among them.

The two top politicians have proposed creating a Russia-EU committee at a ministerial level that would focus on foreign policy and security. It would serve as a forum for exchanging information and experience concerning current state of international politics and security and help develop basic principles for holding joint civilian and military crisis management operations.

Moscow proposed upgrading the pan-European security back in 2008, saying the existing plans for the region are flawed and should be updated.

The two leaders also focused on bilateral ties – trade and economic co-operation in particular, as Germany has become one of Russia's biggest trade partners.

The troubled euro was also not left untouched and its fate is an issue which concerns Russia greatly, President Medvedev said.

“I hope the situation in the Eurozone stabilizes. It's essential not only for the Eurozone itself and its partners, including Russia, but also for the global financial system in general. Because if the euro collapses the consequences may be even graver than in 2008, when the financial crisis struck. Then we were all monitoring the dollar intently, now we are watching the euro. The system of world reserve currencies is far from perfect. I've already said on several occasions that it must develop and new reserve currencies must appear. But those which exist should remain strong and stable,” Dmitry Medvedev said.

Touching upon Iran’s nuclear saga, the agreement over sanctions against Tehran’s atomic ambitions exists and they could be imposed in the near future, President Medvedev said.

“But no one wants sanctions. We hope Iranian authorities will hear the voice of the international community,” he added.

Indeed, Russia will try hard to avoid sanctions, believes Igor Khokhlov, a political expert at the Institute of World Economy and International relations in Moscow.

“Russia won’t push sanctions against Iran, because Russia has proven to show very prudent policy towards Iran. On one hand Iran’s nuclear program is a major concern, major security issue for Russia, especially for our southern borders, but on the other hand we are not going to push as far as United States does, because there should be some kind of balance in the region. And also Russian policy takes into account such facts as Turkey joining the club of greater powers that wants to play an independent role,” the political analyst told RT.