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According to the press service of the German government, Merkel and Gorbachev exchanged views on the German-Russian relations. “The Chancellor stressed that despite all differences on current issues, of great importance is to preserve good relations between Germany, the European Union and Russia for a long-term perspective,” the press service said. The sides also spoke about the weekend celebrations on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Earlier on Monday, Steffen Seibert, a government spokesperson, said the meeting would be closed to journalists with no statements to follow. In his words, Merkel and Gorbachev were to discuss a range of issues, including the situation in Ukraine, on which matter “there apparently are differences in opinions.”
Seibert praised Gorbachev’s contribution to the unification of Germany. “We in Germany have not forgotten his merits over the period of openness and perestroika, his contribution to ending the Cold War, to Germany’s peaceful unification,” he said.
Later on Monday, Gorbachev will be awarded a medal for merits in building mutual understanding between peoples. The medal is awarded by the association of pensioners of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany that is tasked to advocate interests of the organization’s elderly members.
A recognized “father” of united Germany, Gorbachev arrived in Berlin on November 7 to attend festivities on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On Friday, he met with local residents at the former Checkpoint Charlie, a symbol of the Cold War, where he opened an exhibition dedicated to the developments of 25 years ago. On November 8 and 9, he took part in the New Policy forum that discussed ways to ease tensions in relations between the West and Russia, as well as issues of European security and the situation in the Middle East.
Speaking at the forum, Gorbachev warned against unleashing a new Cold War. He noted that Russia and the West were losing trust to each other “at a moment when they must try to find common points.” He called on the West and Russia to pool efforts to work out a concept of building a common European home.