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MOSCOW, June 16. /TASS/. The late former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl did much to develop relations between Germany and Russia, Naina Yeltsina, the widow of first Russian President Boris Yeltsin, told TASS.
"Mournful news has come that former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl passed away, the man who had done much for promoting equal relations between his country and a new democratic Russia," she said. "In the 1990s, which were so difficult for our country, Mr. Kohl was sincere in his attempts to help us cope with both economic and political turbulence surfacing after the Soviet Union’s collapse."
Boris Yeltsin and Helmut Kohl were friends, she said.
"Germany’s chancellor had personal, friendly, rather than just partner relations with Russia’s first president. Boris Nikolayevich highly praised those warm feelings of Mr. Kohl towards Russia," she noted.
"We were on close terms (with Kohl). He visited us at home and we visited him. Then I could appreciate how concerned he was about our country’s fate. Today, the world lost a wise and forward-thinking politician and our family the man whose friendship we valued and were proud of."
"I offer my sincerest sympathy to German citizens and family and friends of Mr. Helmut Kohl," the first Russian president’s widow added.
On Friday, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl passed away aged 87.