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STRASBOURG, July 1. /TASS/. Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called Germany’s former Chancellor Helmut Kohl an architect of the current world order and pointed to his input in the reliable partnership between Russia and Germany.
During a mourning ceremony on Saturday, the Russian prime minister said Kohl "is correctly called not only the author of united Germany, but also the architect of united Europe, or speaking directly - of the current world order."
"He was the kind of leader, who change epochs," Medvedev continued. "About many of his achievements as chancellor the contemporaries said: "This is impossible to do." Today we speak differently about those events: "This was impossible to do otherwise." Thus, he could pick the only correct route, the route which the history followed."
Kohl "was truly a man of future," the Russian prime minister said. He knew well what war is, and "for many years worked to make sure Europe is never divided - either by lines of trenches, or by borders, by warring ideologies."
"A great politician, Kohl realized that only this way, by overcoming split of Europe, he could united his Fatherland," Medvedev said.
"On this route, my country, Russia, always remained for him a reliable partner, our peoples very deeply realized the danger of confrontation and valued peace; thus former enemies managed to begin developing relations based on mutual respect, equality and trust," he continued.
"Helmut Kohl made a lot to have relations between our countries [Germany and Russia] be the best ever," he said. "Russia appreciates it greatly."
The prime minister stressed Russia "will remember" Kohl "as our friend, as a wise and far-sighted politician, a very open and sincere person."
On June 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered condolences to Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. As the Kremlin’s press service reported, he stressed that Kohl had played a key role in the ending the Cold War and in the country’s reunification. Putin noted in a telegram he "always admired his wisdom and the ability to take balanced and far-sighted decisions even in most complicated situations." The Russian president added that Russia would remember Helmut Kohl "as a principled supporter of the development of friendly ties between our countries, who made a great contribution to the strengthening of mutually-beneficial bilateral partnership and good-neighborly relations."
Germany’s ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl, known as Germany’s reunification architect, died at his house in Ludwigshafen on June 16. He was at the helm of Germany for 16 years, between 1982 and 1998.