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“A hundred years ago Russia was forced to enter that war. Today, we are opening a memorial to its heroes - Russian soldiers and officers,” the president said at the ceremony.
Russia, according to Putin, was on its way to victory, which was “stolen” by those who were sowing discord in their ambition to seize power.
For centuries, Russia sought to establish strong ties and build trust among nations and its role in the pre-war years was particularly important.
“On the eve of World War One Russia did everything to persuade Europe to resolve the conflict between Serbia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire peacefully without spilling blood but it had to answer the challenge and defend a fraternal Slavic nation and its own citizens from an external threat,” Putin explained.
He stressed it was important to learn the WWI lessons and remember how dangerous and disastrous aggression, egoism and overwhelming ambitions in the global arena could have for the whole world.
“The tragedy of WWI reminds all of us what consequences the aggression, egoism as well as overwhelming political ambitions of state leaders and political elites may have if they prevail over sober sense,” Putin said.
The Russian president said that humanity needed to understand one simple truth that violence could only cause violence while the road to peace lay through dialogue and goodwill.
The monument to the WWI heroes, according to Putin, was not only a tribute to their heroism. It is also a warning that the world is fragile.
In conclusion, the Russian leader called for preserving peace and remembering that a peaceful and stable life was the most precious thing on Earth.