President of Russia, Vladimir Putin wrote to Claus Mangold, Chairman of the Eastern Committee of German Economy, congratulating him on the 50th anniversary day of the organisation. According to President Putin's press service, the congratulatory letter reads, 'Your committee was created during the difficult years of political and ideological confrontation in Europe. Yet despite the absence of diplomatic relations between the USSR and West Germany, it was to a significant degree due to the personal enthusiasm of the committee's first leaders that the atmosphere of trust in economic relations was later quickly established. That was a victory of common sense over the prejudices of cold war.'
'Today', the letter continues, 'the Eastern Committee of German Economy is well known in Russia as one of the pillars on which Russian-German economic cooperation rests. Its fruitful activities give a new strategic character to business connections between our two countries. I am sure that wide-scale bilateral initiatives and projects supported by the Eastern Committee will continue enriching Russian-German economic relations.'