ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, June 21 (UPI) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union is willing to discuss lowering trade barriers between the EU and Russia.
"We want to cooperate with Russia ... in order to remove economic barriers," Merkel said in a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, ITAR-Tass reported Friday.
"The Forum is a major platform for business and politics, it makes its contribution in globalization," Merkel said.
Merkel compared Russia's position to the relationship the European Union has with the United States, saying that EU-U.S. trade talks set to start in Washington in early July were "very important."
She said talks with Russia were also possible, because Russia "has already confirmed its commitment to the principles of free trade."