“Putin likes the state and that opens doors for Saxon firms in Russia,” Tillich told the Friday edition of Chemnitz-based regional daily Freie Presse. “Should Saxon companies not do business with Russia because Putin was in Dresden for the KGB?”
Tillich is currently in Russia with a delegation from the Saxon business community. He said earlier this week that Moscow was potentially interested in helping keep troubled Dresden chipmaker Qimonda afloat.
Putin apparently expressed to Tillich his particular affinity for Saxony, where he worked for the Soviet spy agency just before the Berlin Wall fell in the late 1980s.
“When we go to Vietnam or Syria these days we meet people all over who once lived in East Germany and now are in key positions,” Tillich told the paper. “We'd be negligent if we didn't use this advantage over western German companies or states. There's nothing illegitimate about it.”