BERLIN, June 22. /TASS/. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the beginning of Nazi Germany’s aggression against the former Soviet Union, German cabinet’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert said on Tuesday.
"The chancellor stressed that the sufferings caused by crimes committed by Germans in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and other former Soviet republics are felt by millions of families. The chancellor is deeply thankful that so many citizens of these countries extended a reconciliation hand [to Germany]," he said.
According to the Kremlin press service, the telephone conversation was initiated by the German side. It said that Merkel "expressed feelings of empathy in light of the countless scourges and tragedies which were brought by the war started by the Nazi regime."
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin's article Being Open Despite the Past, timed for the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, was uploaded to the Kremlin's website. The article was also placed on the media resource Zeit Online. On Thursday, it will appear in German in the weekly Die Zeit. The Russian leader noted that Russia stands for resuming comprehensive partnership with Europe. He also stressed that the entire post-WWII history of Europe confirms that prosperity and security can be achieved only through joint efforts of all countries, including Russia.