Russia’s President Vladimir Putin met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the capital Moscow on Friday.
This is Merkel’s last visit to Russia as chancellor, with the 67-year-old due to step down later this year.
Putin opened the meeting by stressing Germany’s importance as Russia’s second-largest economic partner.
After a decline in 2020, he said, trade turnover between the two countries doubled in the first half of this year.
“We have a lot of questions that need to be discussed in a personal format. So, I am sure that this will be not only a farewell visit related to your decision not to seek re-election as federal chancellor, but also a visit filled with serious, business-like content,” Putin said.
Acknowledging that this would be her last trip to Russia as Germany’s chancellor, Merkel said she had a lot to discuss with the Russian leader, including the situation in Libya and Afghanistan.
She said Russia and Germany have differences on a number of issues, but the two countries will continue to pursue dialogue and remain in contact.