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Germany, Russia to sign trade deals

RUSSIA: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were set to oversee a flurry of economic deals to further cement the Moscow-Berlin relationship yesterday .

German Government sources say Siemens will sign 2.2-billion-euro (2.8-billion-dollar) order to supply Russian Railways with more than 200 trains for its regional network at the meeting in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

Siemens chief executive Peter Loescher will be one of the 25 business leaders accompanying Merkel to Russia and on to China and Kazakhstan.

While a spokesman for Russian Railways declined comment to AFP ahead of the signing, a Moscow-based spokesman for Siemens, Denis Perkin, confirmed the two companies would sign a contract but declined details.

He added Siemens also planned to ink an agreement to help Russia develop the Skolkovo high-tech hub outside Moscow - Russia's answer to Silicon Valley - and another deal with state conglomerate Russian Technologies and RusHydro utility company.

During the summit - the leaders' fifth encounter this year - Medvedev and Merkel will discuss the setting up of "strategic alliances" between Russian and German companies in railway, aviation and energy industries, the Kremlin said.

"The common aim of the efforts being undertaken - a quality improvement of business cooperation - is in line with the modernization tasks Russia faces," the Kremlin said ahead of the bilateral summit.

Medvedev this week told Russian diplomats that one of their top tasks was to help businesses forge economic alliances with the West as the Kremlin seeks to wean the country off oil and gas exports as its main economic motor.

"We need special modernization alliances with our main international partners," Medvedev said. "First and foremost with countries such as Germany, France, Italy, the European Union.

Thursday, AFP

Posted on Friday, July 16, 2010 @ 10:23:29 LKT by

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