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German president will visit Russia but not attend Olympics

January 24, 2014, 15:52 UTC+3 BERLIN
"It will be possible to talk about the things which connect and which separate us," Joachim Gauck noted
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German President Joachim Gauck

German President Joachim Gauck

© EPA/MICHAEL KAPPELER

BERLIN, January 24. /ITAR-TASS/. German President Joachim Gauck will visit Russia soon, he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper on Friday.

“I stick firmly to the plan of visiting Russia,” he said, noting that “it will be possible to talk about the things which connect and which separate us” during the visit. But the president did not specify the date of his trip and confirmed that he would not attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

“I have always been and I remain a friend of sport and I wish our athletes success and will be glad to see them on their return,” he said, adding, however, that he “will not go to the Sochi games”.

“We informed the federal Chancellery of it before the decision was brought to public notice,” Gauck said, commenting on German newspaper reports saying Chancellor Merkel was angry that the president’s office had failed to notify her of Gauck’s decision in advance.

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