Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl “considerably changed” his own views on relations between Russia and Europe, in St. Petersburg on Saturday, following the death of the former leader on Friday.
SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): “His ideas on future relations between Russia and Germany, Russia and the rest of Europe not only impressed me a great deal, but somehow, without exaggerating, considerably changed my own perception of these processes. I saw a person of great depth, who was very thorough in his judgments.”
SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): “He said that if we wanted to preserve our civilisation in this tumultuous and rapidly changing world, with emerging centres of power, not only military power but also economic and cultural power, then Europe and Russia should definitely stay together. And I completely agree with him. You are aware of our position. In essence, we are ready for that. What is missing is that our partners should also be ready, and should shed their phobias of the past. Mr Kohl was the one who called for dropping all those phobias so as to look forward, into the future.”
SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): “I offer my condolences to Helmut Kohl’s family and to the German people. And I would like to stress again that I very much hope that the ideas he spoke about, he articulated, will be realised in the future.”
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