ST. PETERSBURG, June 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin met with a group of German businessmen in St. Petersburg Sunday to discuss some projects that German companies intended to carry out in Russia this year, said German Gref, Russia's economic development and trade minister.
Gref said the executives responsible for implementing the projects were appointed and the deadlines for completing them were set during the meeting.
The minister, who also took part in the meeting with the 12 representatives of German business circles, said it had been a conversation between parties who had known each other for a long time and knew what they wanted. German businessmen showed their interest in long-term cooperation with Russia, and the Russian leadership sought foreign direct investment from Germany in the Russian economy, including in the IT sector.
When answering a question about whether this meeting was more important that a meeting Putin had held on Saturday with American businessmen, Gref said both were of great interest.
According to the minister, the German businessmen represented companies and groups that had great business experience in Russia and had invested hundreds of millions of euros in the Russian economy. Gref pointed to technology giant Siemens as an example, which has been working on the Russian market for 150 years.
The minister said the American businessmen who had met with the Russian leader represented many companies that were entering Russia's market for the first time and were potential investors.
"These meetings could not be divided in terms of importance," Gref said.
Dr. Klaus Mangold, a prominent economist and the chairman of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, said the meeting with Putin had focused on many major projects, including in the automotive industry, aircraft building, the space industry, machine building and transportation.