Europe

Berlin rejects Putin's Crimea-Germany parallel

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is sharply rejecting a parallel drawn by Russian President Vladimir Putin between Moscow's incorporation of Crimea and the Soviet-backed reunification of Germany in 1990.

In his speech on Tuesday, Putin said Moscow "unequivocally supported the sincere, unstoppable desire of the Germans for national unity" and expected Germans to "support the aspiration of the Russian world, of historical Russia, to restore unity."

Germany says Russia's actions in Crimea violate international law. Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, on Wednesday described Putin's comparison as "astonishing." Seibert says "German unification brought back together two separate states of one nation, while Russia's intervention leads to a division of Ukraine."

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