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Augmented Russo-German intergovernmental consultations will be held in September 2004
Augmented Russo-German intergovernmental consultations will be held in September 2004, President Vladimir Putin said during his talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. "We are preparing for augmented intergovernmental consultations in September 2004," Mr. Putin said. Soon, Moscow will host, on Mr. Schroeder's initiative, "a major forum involving German and Russian businessmen," Mr. Putin added. "Russo-German contacts continue to develop in just about every sphere, with bilateral trade turnover expanding, as well," Mr. Putin said. Previously, Sergei Prikhodko, Mr. Putin's aide, told reporters that Mr. Putin and Mr. Schroeder had agreed on the German chancellor visiting Russia in early July. Mr. Putin and Mr. Schroeder are to attend a roundtable discussion involving all major German and Russian companies, the president's aide noted. Normandy hosted events in connection with the 60th anniversary of opening the second front on the eve of the Sea Island summit. Mr. Putin referred to the celebrations as timely and essential (particularly in the context of developments in Iraq). "The timely and essential Normandy celebrations played a unifying role particularly after developments in Iraq," Mr. Putin told correspondents. The German chancellor's participation in Normandy events is particularly symbolic, Mr. Putin said. The chancellor's presence underscored WWII events, Mr. Putin said. According to the Russian leader, no country can be deprived of its rights in any way because of WWII. "Do you know what our veterans told me? The German anti-Nazi movement became our first ally in the struggle against Hitler," Mr. Putin said, while meeting with Mr. Schroeder. Mr. Putin said that countries could not forget history, "but our countries' present generation, which is not responsible for previous events, cannot be deprived of its rights." "In this connection, we are noting Germany's growing role in international affairs and I hope this situation will continue in the future as well," Mr. Putin said. The German chancellor said he was satisfied with the recent development of Russo-German relations. "Russia and Germany maintain high-level economic, culture and, first of all, political relations," he said. According to Mr. Schroeder, bilateral relations have been developing successfully over the last few years, which can mostly be explained by the fact that Russia has made impressive achievements as a result of political reforms and is becoming an important international player. The wives of the Russian and German leaders are "paying considerable attention to the development of international exchanges," Mr. Schroeder said. "We intend to discuss specific developments in this sphere during the forthcoming intergovernmental consultations," he said. "Quite possibly, we will discuss the creation of an international youth foundation, like the ones in Germany and France." Mr. Putin and his entourage traveled 24,300 kilometers, while visiting France, Mexico and the United States. "Not a single hour of this trip was spent in vain," Mr. Putin said.
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