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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia and Germany to Discuss Bilateral Ties

BERLIN, Germany- Bilateral economic ties were expected to dominate talks Friday between German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

Kasyanov arrived in the German capital early Friday for a few hours' discussions with Schroeder and with the Eastern Committee of German Economy, an organization which plays a key role in promoting contacts with Russia.

He will also address representatives of business and banking circles with a report titled ?Russia 2000: Business and Plans.?

?Russia remains an important strategic partner for Germany. There is a considerable potential for widening the economic relations,? the committee said in a statement issued Thursday.

German industrialists called on the Russian government to ?use favorable economic conditions for carrying out structural reforms.?

The business leaders believe that Russia's efforts aimed at consolidating the bank system will help attract new foreign investments.

According to the committee, German-Russian trade grew by 64.3 percent in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year, to 25.3 billion marks ($11.2 billion).

In the latest edition of the weekly Der Spiegel, Kasyanov pointed to Germany as Russia's main trading partner and voiced optimism that economic ties would expand further in the next few years.

Germany has been Russia's leading creditor in recent years, supporting market reforms with $67 billion in loans, grants and credit guarantees.

Russia has pushed for relief on some Soviet-era debt, but Germany has balked at the idea.