Merkel, Zuma in Moscow for V-day celebrations

Ukraine’s settlement and possibilities for the restoration of cooperation between Russia and Germany will be high on the agenda of talks in the Kremlin on Sunday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is arriving in Moscow to attend celebrations in honour of the 70th anniversary of the World War II Victory.

Before the talks, the two leaders together will lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall.

Putin also spoke of the ‘Immortal Regiment‘ initiative’s importance earlier, while marching with over 300,000 people in Moscow’s Red Square, Saturday. “It was born not in cabinets, nor in administrative structures, but in the hearts of our people,” Putin told the interviewer.

“The sides will discuss, in particular, measures to boost trade and economic relations,” he said. In 2014, for the first time in recent years, a 6.5% decline in the Russian-German trade turnover volume was recorded, to $70.1 billion, compared to the previous year.

At the same time, the Russian economy has accumulated more than $21 billion of German investment. There are more than 6,000 companies with German participation operating in Russia, including about 800 – with 100% German capital. The volume of Russian investment in Germany is about $850 million.

The Kremlin also says the two countries have the traditionally intense cultural and humanitarian contacts and inter-regional cooperation.

The meeting with Merkel will complete the four-day “marathon” of international meetings that Putin has held on the sidelines of the Victory Day celebrations.

Since May 7, he has held talks with the leaders of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), as well as with the leaders of Cuba, Mongolia, China, India, Vietnam, the Czech Republic, South Africa, as well as with the UN Secretary-General.

The South African president arrived in Moscow on Friday to join in commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory.

Zuma urged on Saturday to endorse a “meaningful” reform of the United Nations to build a more just world order, the presidency said in a statement.

Meanwhile Martin Charmoy, head of Prosperity Capital Management fund in London, predicted that trade between Russia and China will reach $200 billion in the next several years.

Russia and China are quickly becoming close friends, a growing threat to European markets, Martin Charmoy, head of Prosperity Capital Management fund in London, said.

The analyst also predicted that trade between Russia and China will reach $200 billion in the next several years.
“Russia and China are becoming best friends,” Charmoy concluded.

Meanwhile, the analysts said European companies that once were very successful in the Russian market are losing their positions due to sanctions and the geopolitical situation.

This week during the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow, a wide range of agreements in the trade, economic and energy fields were inked. The main issue on the agenda was an agreement to couple the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road projects.

Last year, Russia’s gas-producing giant Gazprom and Chinese CNPC signed a deal to supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year over the next 30 years.

The total sum of the contract is estimated to be $400 billion, the largest Gazprom contract ever. The gas price is attached to the oil price. The supplies are planned to start in four to six years.

Source: Sputnik News/Itar-TASS