March 26 - Russian President Vladimir Putin praises the head of the German engineering group, Siemens, for continuing to invest in Russia. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
It's business as usual for Germany's Siemens company in Russia, as CEO Joe Kaeser sits down with President Vladimir Putin. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "Siemens has been in the Russian market for 160 years, and today it is present in practically every branch of the Russian economy." The meeting comes as Western nations have warned that Russia could face damaging economic sanctions if it takes further action to destabilize Ukraine following the seizure of Crimea. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "Just over the last two years, the group invested about 800 million euro in Russia which is very significant." (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "Cooperation is developing very well with Siemens and other German companies. Last year, we had a record turnover of 75 billion euro." The German CEO, says he faced no pressure from the government over his planned meeting with Putin. (SOUNDBITE) (German) SIEMENS CEO, JOE KAESER, SAYING: "As you have pointed out, Siemens has been present in the Russian market for 160 years. Over all those years we cooperated successfully and managed to overcome different challenges and tests and used every chance to do that. I believe that this long history and tradition of our cooperation is yet further proof that success in overcoming those challenges could only be achieved by talking to each other and not about each other." . More than 6,000 German firms are active in Russia.