BERLIN (Reuters) – As Xi Jinping prepares to make the first trip to Germany by a Chinese president in eight years, lofty goals to boost trade between the world’s top exporters look hopelessly out of reach, and German firms are beginning to rethink their aggressive push into China.
In 2012, when then Chinese premier Wen Jiabao paid a visit, he announced an aim to hike bilateral trade to $280 billion by 2015, a target that seemed ambitious but realistic at the time, given a 54 percent surge to $180 billion in the prior two years.
Deutsche Bank: In absolute terms French banks are by far the most exposed to Russia with $51 bln in claims (Italy $29 bln, Germany $24 bln)
EU dependence on Russian gas (2012 figs): Finland (100 pct), Slovakia (93), Poland (83), Hungary (81), Greece (79), Czech (66), Austria (62)
Hmmm #Russian foreign ministry: “There must be no doubt: we will respond adequately to every hostile thrust”
BERLIN (Reuters) – On a Sunday in early March, a day after Vladimir Putin won parliamentary backing for an invasion of Ukraine, Angela Merkel called him to demand an explanation. The German leader was shaken by what she heard, sources within her party say.
For weeks, in a series of phone calls, the Russian president, speaking mainly in the German he perfected as a KGB agent in East Germany, had assured the chancellor he would respect the territorial integrity of his western neighbour and had no plans to intervene militarily.