Putin regrets Cold War division of Germany
Putin, who rarely discusses his KGB past, has granted a rare interview about the fall of the Berlin Wall to be aired on Russian television in early November for the 20th anniversary of the Wall's collapse.Moscow -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who served as a KGB agent in Communist East Germany, has described the Cold War division of Germany as a mistake which was doomed from the outset, media reported Wednesday.
Putin, who rarely discusses his KGB past, has granted a rare interview about the fall of the Berlin Wall to be aired on Russian television in early November for the 20th anniversary of the Wall's collapse, the Kommersant daily said.
"The separation of a people has no prospects and it was clear from the start that this should not have been done," Putin says in the documentary, called Wall, Interfax news agency reported, quoting the NTV television channel.
In his comments, Putin described Germany and the German people as "hostages" in the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States.
He said "occupying forces" were present, both in West and East Germany.
"And Germany became to a certain extent a playing card in the battle between the two superpowers."
The Russian strongman has repeatedly expressed admiration for the achievements of the Soviet Union, whose break-up he once described as the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the twentieth century.
Putin worked as a KGB agent in the East German city of Dresden although he is not believed to have held a high rank at the time.
The documentary, due to be shown on November 8, will also include an interview with the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
The journalist who interviewed Putin for the documentary, Vladimir Kondradtyev, told Kommersant that the prime minister's comments had mainly been personal recollections.
Putin's successor as president, Dmitry Medvedev, will visit the German capital on November 9 to mark the anniversary, the Kremlin said.