According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, there have been "intensive contacts" going on between Moscow and Bavaria "for quite some time already." Greeting Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Steuber in the Kremlin on Wednesday, Putin stressed that Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's presence at the meeting was deliberate.
He also said commercial exchange between Russia and Bavaria was successfully developing, and that on the whole, it exceeded that between Russia and France. He recalled that the exchange had grown by 37% during the past year, which in his opinion indicated a "serious increase." Saying he was "very glad to see" Steuber in Moscow, the president called him "a very experienced person." On his part, Edmund Steuber said the way the German-Russian relationship was developing was "rather important for Germany's relations with Europe." He confirmed that Russia and Germany had no differences between them.
Speaking in general, Steuber pointed to the "great changes" that occurred in Russia's relations with NATO, the European Union, and the USA. Observing that the events of September "had "influenced these changes too," he emphasized that despite these tragic events, relations between Russia and the West were getting along "very well."