Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Germany for a two-day visit focusing on trade and investment.

On Sunday, Mr. Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder opened an international trade fair in Hanover. Mr. Schroeder said he hopes to strengthen the two countries' economic ties.

Russian news service Itar-Tass quoted Mr. Putin as saying that private investors, including foreigners, will enjoy special terms in Russia.

Chechnya's Kremlin-backed president, Alu Alkhanov, also arrived in Hanover Sunday, raising protests from human rights groups critical of Russian military actions in the southern republic.