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    Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt: the EU and Russia are not willing to yield to the U.S.

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    MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) - Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt urges Russia and the EU to conduct independent policies.

    "Both the European Union and Russia are not willing to yield to the hegemony of the U.S. interests," the ex-Chancellor announced at the 5th Congress of the Rodina (Motherland) socialist-patriotic party on Saturday.

    "You would want to deal with your internal affairs the way you believe is right for you," he stressed.

    "The U.S. present a problem for both the Russians and the Europeans," he added.

    At the same time, he urged the participants of the forum to remember that "from a military, economic and political perspectives America is a global power." "The Americans have solid reasons to believe they can win any war," Schmidt said. "However, they will never establish peace and stability on their own after a victorious war," he continued, citing an example of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Contrary to the EU, which is "a strong economic force, but does not wield a mighty military or even political power, Russia has always been and will be a great world power," Helmut Schmidt believes.

    At present, "political relations between Russia and the majority of the EU countries are much better than at any point in the 20th century," the German ex-chancellor emphasized.

    Schmidt expressed "heartfelt gratitude" to Russia for the invitation of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to attend the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Great Victory on May 9 in Moscow.

    "When Vladimir Putin invited Gerhard Schroeder, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this gesture of reconciliation," said Schmidt, who was one of the proponents of the detente in Europe in the 1970s.

    Helmut Schmidt mentioned he was "a participant of that horrible war and fought on the Russian front, as well."

    "I visited Moscow for the first time in 1966, and overall I made about 12 or may be 15 trips to Moscow, and every time I was impressed with the development of your capital," Schmidt said.

    "If we compare modern Russia with what it was several decades ago, the enormous progress is clearly visible," the German ex-Chancellor said.

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