Berlin/Moscow - Germany and Russia have been laying the groundwork for greater cooperation ahead of a meeting in Munich on Thursday between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
The discussions are to include joint action against organised crime and human trafficking, stronger economic ties and further steps to prevent climate change.
Medvedev is also likely to promote a takeover bid for German carmaker Opel led by Canadian car parts manufacturer Magna, and financed in part by Russian state-owned Sherbank.
The leaders are also to sign an agreement on combatting serious crime, German government circles confirmed Wednesday.
A document has been drawn up promoting greater economic cooperation between Germany and Russia. The German federal development bank KfW has also offered a
500-million-euro (700- million-dollar) credit to safeguard German exports.
The leaders are also expected to seal the founding of a new Russian-German energy agency, and pledge closer cooperation on scientific research projects.
At their meeting, just days after last week's G8 summit in Italy, Medvedev and Merkel are expected to continue discussing political developments in Iran, the global financial crisis and steps towards a new climate change treaty to be signed in Copenhagen this December.
Medvedev is to pledge his support for Magna's takeover bid for GM's European subsidiary Opel. The deal involves a 35 per cent stake for Russia's Sherbank, as well as cooperation with Russian carmaker Gaz.
"We support this acquisition and will also appeal to all others to agree to this deal," Medvedev's foreign policy advisor Sergei Prichodko said.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has previously said the deal would give Russia cheap access to German technology. In addition, it would enable the country to expand its profile beyond energy provision.
Merkel and Medvedev are to meet at Schleissheim Palace, a former summer residence of Bavarian rulers to the north of Munich. After being received with military honours, Medvedev is to hold one-to-one talks with the chancellor.
The German and Russian economics, environment, research and interior ministers are also due to participate in bilateral talks at the baroque Bavarian palace. (dpa)
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