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Schroeder, Putin Hold Talks In Germany

21 December 2004 -- German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin today had talks in the northern German town of Schleswig.

Putin, speaking at a joint news conference with Schroeder after the meeting, said he had received German and European Union proposals about resolving the Chechen conflict.

Putin said the war in Chechnya was over, but added that he was willing to accept the proposals "fully."

"But what does it mean [that the war in Chechnya is over]? Does it mean that we have no problems in Russia and especially in Chechnya? ...It is the other way around. We have plenty of problems also in that region and we are willing to work together openly with our partners in Europe and in Germany."

Speaking about Ukraine, Putin said he would have no problems working with opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko.

Putin and Schroeder also announced a $2 billion deal to bring German high-speed trains to Russia's national railway. Today's meeting concluded Putin's two-day trip to Germany.