YEKATERINBURG, Russia – and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met Thursday for talks and are expected to oversee the signing of an array of deals between German and Russian companies worth billions of dollars.
Siemens earlier sold eight trains to Russian Railways that are now running between and St. Petersburg in first high-speed train route. The German company will also supply 54 commuter trains for the Winter Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Germany is Russia’s major trading partner with trade between the two countries topping $15 billion in the first quarter of the year.
Addressing an annual German-Russian forum, invited German firms to invest in Russian companies that last month were taken off the list of strategic enterprises and now have no caps on foreign investments and shareholding. They include airports and factories ranging from paper mills to train car makers.
Merkel and Medvedev are also expected to discuss Russia-EU relations and international issues including Iran’s nuclear program later on Thursday.
Merkel pressed Medvedev on the issue of human rights in Russia at the forum. Thursday marks the first anniversary of the murder of prominent Chechen human rights activist Nataliya Estemirova.
“It is important that Russia continues to investigate that murder,” she said. “It is necessary that people who infringe human rights should face punishment.”