BERLIN, November 5. /TASS/. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has expressed his gratitude to former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev for his policy, which resulted in the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany’s reunification three decades ago.
"These days, Germany recalls the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago. We have not forgotten and we will not forget that the miracle of my country’s peaceful reunification and the end of Europe’s division would have been impossible without your bold and humane decisions, which you made personally at that time," the message reads.
According to Steinmeier, he regrets that relations between Russia and the West are currently not at their best. "Our task and our duty is not to put up with the alienation that has grown in recent years and not to lose sight of the objective to move towards a common future in the spirit of peace and cooperation," Steinmeier’s press service quotes him as saying.
The 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is being celebrated in Germany this week. The top events will be held on November 9.
The Berlin Wall, seen as a Cold War symbol, was built in 1961 at the initiative of East German leader Walter Ulbricht amid labor outflow to West Germany. After Hungary opened its borders in 1989 against the backdrop of the policy of perestroika in the USSR, 15,000 people fled East Germany through the neighboring country within three days.
On November 9, 1989, East German official Gunter Schabowski unexpectedly announced the new rules providing freedom of movement for the citizens of the German Democratic Republic. They boiled down to the following: East Germans were allowed to leave the country through checkpoints. The first crossing barrier was opened on the same day.