Russia-Germany relations progressing despite difficulties - Putin
MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) - Despite the well-known difficulties and political limitations, Russian-German relations are progressing, and German business intends to broaden its activities in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
"German business is set to broaden its activity in the Russian market," Putin said after talks with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, adding that this issue was discussed at a meeting in Sochi with German business representatives.
"Despite the well-known political difficulties, Russian-German relations are not standing still," Putin said.
"We are ready to work together to develop them," he said.
Germany remains one of Russia's biggest trading partners and key economic investors, he said.
The two presidents also acknowledged an increase in bilateral trade.
"We noted with satisfaction that trade turnover started growing again this year. While in 2016, trade was down 11%, in January-April of this year, it grew right away by 25%," Putin said.
The inflow of direct investments from Germany has also increased: "In the first quarter of this year alone, their volume reached $312 million, significantly exceeding the indicators for the whole of 2016," Putin said. The figure for last year was $225 million, he said.