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Merkel heads to Russia for talks with Medvedev

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July 13, 2010

(KATAKAMI / EXPATICA)  German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold trade talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg Wednesday, the Kremlin said.

The two leaders are to be joined by ministers from their respective governments for the two-day meeting, which will focus on economic cooperation, said the statement Tuesday.

Among the business tie-ups to be discussed, the two sides are to discuss a partnership between the Russia’s RJD railway company and Germany’s Siemens, the Kremlin statement added.

German government sources say Siemens will sign 2.2-billion-euro (2.8-billion-dollar) order to supply RJD with 200 trains for its regional network.

Siemens chief executive Peter Loescher will be one of the 25 business leaders accompanying Merkel to Russia and on to China and Kazakhstan in what will be a four-day tour announced last week by her office.

The two countries will also discuss the controversy of Iran’s nuclear programme, the situation in Iran, the Afghanistan conflict and Russia’s relations with the European Union.

Germany may also raise the issue of human rights: Thursday will be the first anniversary of the murder of journalist and human rights activist Natalia Estemirova. Her body was found in Ingushetia hours after she was abducted from Chechnya, in the Russian Caucasus.

Germany is Russia’s main economic partner: the two countries did 60 billion dollars’ worth of trade in 2008.  (*)

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