"In the long view it is possible to create a large free trade zone, including with Russia," Merkel said.
The chancellor added that Germany is interested in economic cooperation with Russia, despite the current political differences between the two countries. Political differences should be settled in a diplomatic way, Merkel said.
"Step by step we do everything possible to create a common economic area – as Russian President Vladimir Putin once said – from Vladivostok to Lisbon."
During the forum, the German chancellor underscored the importance to implement the Minsk agreements on the Ukrainian conflict despite any certain obstacles. She also said the EU association agreements signed earlier by Ukraine and Moldova are not aimed against Russia’s interests.