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Economy at top of agenda for Russia-Germany talks: expert

07-15-2010 10:51 BJT

MOSCOW, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Economic cooperation was at the top of the agenda of Russia-German interstate consultations starting Wednesday in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, a German political expert said.

Director of German Foreign Affairs Council Russian program Alexander Rar told Xinhua on Wednesday the meeting would concentrate on economic issues, because there were few hot spots in the world where Moscow and Berlin currently rub shoulders.

"For Germany now, the European dimension is way more important than the Russian one," he said.

"The times of Chancellor Schroeder have gone. Still, Russian leadership is keeping the momentum going and expects Berlin to be Moscow's best advocate like in the 'best old times'. These expectations are largely groundless. Angela Merkel is unwilling to do anything without a backward glance to new EU members. In some regards, she is overly pragmatic," the expert said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who headed to Russia to meet President Dmitry Medvedev, was accompanied by a delegation of 25 German business leaders.

All in all, Rar expected the meeting would focus on particular economical and technical cooperation rather than on "global" issues.

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