Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Peter Loescher, President and CEO of Siemens AG
26 december 2008
Transcript of the start of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Merry Christmas! Please pass my best wishes to your family. I think we have made a fine Christmas and New Year's gift for all of us - mainly for Russian travellers. That is something to congratulate you on.
It took three years to implement this project - Moscow high-speed trains for St Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Millions will travel on them. It's a real stride for the Russian rail transportation.
Russian partnership with Siemens, one of the world's largest companies and one of Russia's longest-established partners, is not limited to transport engineering.
As far as I know, Siemens opened its first representative office in St Petersburg, and our partnership continues to have excellent prospects.
Peter Loescher: Mr Prime Minister, thank you very much for your warm Christmas greetings. It's a custom to celebrate Christmas with one's family and friends, and I am especially happy to commission this new train with you on Christmas. You are the godfather of this new high-speed train.
This project was completed with an unprecedented pace. I believe it is not only a fine gift to the Russian nation but also a beacon of Russian-German partnership. You are correct in saying that our company has been with Russia from the start. There is symbolism in the geography of the new train's route and in the location of this celebration. The whole world is obsessed with the financial crisis - but our partnership continues to develop. It rests on confidence and technological exchange.
To be sure, Siemens is willing to develop its technology here, with its Russian partners, and to localise its progress. We want to strengthen and further promote our long-standing cooperation. You have found the time for this meeting, and I am grateful.
Vladimir Putin: You have mentioned global financial problems. I agree with you that we can come through these hard times with joined hands. Whatever problems we might be facing, we bring our joint projects to a happy conclusion and prepare long-term plans. This is a good omen.