German economy minister, business delegation to visit Russia

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, meets with Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy and Vice Chancellor, at the Global Progress conference Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

BERLIN — Germany's economy minister plans to travel to Russia next week with a business delegation, a trip that comes as Western sanctions and a weak Russian currency have weighed on trade between the two countries.

The Economy Ministry said Friday that Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany's vice chancellor, will visit Moscow on Sept. 21 and 22. He plans talks with several members of the Russian government, whom it didn't name, on "bilateral economic relations between Russia and Germany, as well as with the European Union."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin plans to meet Gabriel.

The minister also plans to meet representatives of German companies based in Russia.

Russia was Germany's No. 13 trading partner last year, far behind the U.S., China and other European nations. Trade between the two has contracted further this year.

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