Vladimir Putin wrote an article for the German weekly Die Zeit.
Titled “Be open despite the past”, the article is intended to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. The text is available on the Kremlin website.
“On June 22, 1941 <…> the Nazis, having conquered almost all of Europe, attacked the USSR. For the Soviet people, the Great Patriotic War began – the bloodiest in the history of our country. Tens of millions of people died, a huge loss was inflicted on the economic potential and cultural heritage,” the president reminded.
The Soviet soldier came to Germany not to take revenge on the Germans, “but with a noble, great mission of a liberator,” he added, drawing attention to the attempts of some countries to rewrite history.
“Having survived the horrors of the world war, the peoples of Europe were still able to overcome alienation and restore mutual trust and respect, embarked on a course of integration in order to draw a final line under the European tragedies of the first half of the last century. the historical reconciliation of our people and the Germans who lived both in the east and in the west of the modern united Germany,” the head of state noted.
He stressed that “it was German entrepreneurs who became pioneers of cooperation with our country in the post-war years.” In 1970, the USSR and Germany signed the “deal of the century” on long-term natural gas supplies to Europe, which, among other things, according to Putin, laid the foundation for the construction of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.