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Medvedev to visit Berlin for 'fall of wall' celebrations

© RIA Novosti . Dmitriy Astahov / Go to the photo bankRussian President Dmitry Medvedev
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev - Sputnik International
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will visit the German capital on November 9 to take part in events marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a senior aide said on Wednesday.

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will visit the German capital on November 9 to take part in events marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a senior aide said on Wednesday.

Sergei Prikhodko said the Russian leader was invited to attend the celebrations by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He also said Medvedev was expected to meet in Berlin with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Berlin Wall, which was erected in 1961 in order to divide the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from the Federal Republic of Germany, was the symbol of the Iron Curtain between Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc for decades.

After its erection, around 5,000 people successfully climbed, tunneled under or flew over the wall into West Germany. Estimates as to the number of people who lost their lives while trying to escape range from 98 to 200.

The fall of the wall on November 9, 1989, was the first step toward German reunification, which was formally concluded on October 3, 1990. The wall fell after Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev had introduced the policy of perestroika in the USSR, which led to a wave or revolutionary sentiments across Eastern Europe.

On November 9, the Festival of Freedom will be held in Berlin, during which over 1,000 foam domino tiles over 8 feet tall will be stacked along the former route of the wall in the city center and toppled.

 

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