Russian-German Summit a Failure Says Russian Press

April 12, 2001 - 0:0
MOSCOW Russia's media on Wednesday described the summit between President Vladimir Putin and his German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as a failure since no progress was made on resolving Russia's debt problems.

Putin and Schroeder met Monday and Tuesday in Saint Petersburg to discuss, among other things, Berlin's proposal to convert part of Russia's debt into German participation in Russian companies.

But the idea was "buried" by Russia because the countries could not agree specifics on valuation and a calendar for debt reimbursement, said the economic newspaper ****Vedomosty****, calling the summit a failure.

Germany is Russia's primary creditor, owed 27 billion euros (24 billion dollars) of a total debt of 55 billion euros Moscow has with the Paris Club of International Creditors. Most of Moscow's debt was inherited from the Soviet era.

"Friend Vladimir gets along marvelously with friend Gerhard, but friendship is one thing and monetary questions are another," the newspaper Izvestia said, adding that the summit "lacked content".

Controversial issues, such as the war in Chechnya and freedom of the press were avoided during the summit.

Two agreements were signed on space cooperation and specialist training for Russian economists. The opposition newspaper ****Segodnia**** said the agreements were "a more than banal result" compared to "dramatic" problem of debt between the two countries.

****Novostei**** said there was only one way to assess the meeting: "Putin is a Germanophile and like to talk with his German colleague."