04:01 GMT +323 June 2018
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin

    Putin Says Europe Must Be United Despite 'Attempts to Build New Walls'

    © Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Europe must be united.

    "Europe must be united despite all its attempts to build new walls," the Russian president said on Wednesday, refering to the fall of the Berlin Wall which had not only marked the reunification of the western and eastern parts of Germany, but also symbolized a thaw in the relations between Russia and the West.

    He thanked students of the Moscow State University for organizing searches of Nazi Germany soldiers' bodies as "it is very right. It shows reconciliation of Russian and German nations. It is extremely important for the future."

    Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow hopes that the European Union will not be led by a "group of Russophobes" and will move toward policy of normalizing relations with Russia. He also added that Moscow is not interested in the collapse of the European Union, and wants to see it strong and independent.

    Brussels-Moscow relations have deteriorated after Crimea rejoined Russia in early 2014 after a vast majority of the peninsula's citizens voted in favor of the move during a referendum. The European Union and the United States also imposed a series of sanctions on Russia over its alleged involvement in the conflict between the Kiev authorities and the militia in the east of Ukraine, a claims Moscow has repeatedly denied.


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