(Adds Merkel comment)
NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, March 26 The chief
executive of Germany's Siemens said his firm
supported a "trusting relationship" with Russian companies after
meeting President Vladimir Putin at his residence outside Moscow
The United States has levied sanctions against several
Russian individuals - including Russian Railways boss Vladimir
Yakunin - over Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
Engineering conglomerate Siemens has a partnership with
Russian Railways, the state railway monopoly, under which it
provides high-speed trains for rail lines between St Petersburg,
Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, according to the Siemens website.
"We support a trusting relationship with Russian companies,"
Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser told journalists in response
to a question whether the sanctions against Yakunin could affect
its projects with the rail firm.
Russian Railways has said the decision to put Yakunin on the
U.S. blacklist is unjustified.
Kaeser said the German government had not pressured him in
any way over his visit to Russia. "There was no pressure, when
the head of a major German company, which has worked in Russia
for 160 years, came to meet with the Russian president," he
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, asked during a news
conference in Berlin whether she was opposed to Kaeser's meeting
with Putin, said business contacts with Russia were still in
place and she hoped sanctions would not have to move to the next
"(The head of BDI industry lobby) told me today that a value
system is highly important for business, too because business
investment relies on reliability," Merkel said. "There can only
be reliability if contracts and international treaties are
"But Russia must know that if certain further international
treaties are broken, then we are ready for a tough reaction.
That's an important message."
(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya,; Additional reporting by
Andreas Rinke in Berlin; Writing by Megan Davies; Editing by
Pravin Char and Sonya Hepinstall)