President Putin at the video link with Italian company bosses on Wednesday
Photo: ALEKSEY NIKOLSKYI/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL/EPA
While more and more military forces are arriving at the border with Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning a meeting with numerous heads of German companies.
This was confirmed by the Kremlin and the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, which organized the meeting.
Due to the rapidly changing situation, however, no date can be given yet.
The Bloomberg news agency first reported on the planned meeting.
The meeting has tradition
"The Eastern Committee traditionally organizes an annual business meeting with President Putin and ministers relevant to the economy to address current issues in economic relations," a press spokesman for the Eastern Committee told SPIEGEL.
The 2021 meeting was canceled due to the corona virus, and plans are being made again for 2022.
You can't say more at the moment, and you don't want to name the companies involved either.
Due to the pandemic, the meeting will probably take place online.
The Eastern Committee is a lobby organization that includes large factory companies and investors such as SAP, Siemens, Volkswagen, BASF and Allianz who have economic interests in Russia.
According to the company, Siemens, for example, generated sales of around 1.1 billion euros in 2019 with 3,400 employees.
The committee is chaired by Oliver Hermes, head of the Wilo Group, which is active in mechanical engineering. The chair traditionally moderates the meeting with the Russian head of state.
The last meeting with Putin took place in Sochi in December 2019.
At that time, the Russian President repeatedly emphasized how important Germany was as a trading partner of Russia.
According to Putin, Russia “appreciates the pragmatism of the German economy.”
It's not Putin's only meeting with European business leaders this spring.
During a video link on Wednesday, the Russian President asked Italian companies to cooperate further with his country.
The Italian government sharply criticized the meeting in advance, but around one and a half dozen company bosses such as the tire manufacturer Pirelli, the pasta company Barilla and the financial institution UniCredit took part.