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Gorbachev set to use fall of Wall festivities to back President Putin

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Gorbachev set to use fall of Wall festivities to back President Putin

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Berlin is preparing to welcome a host of politicians on Sunday for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.

One who will take part in the festivities will use the occasion to defend the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said in an interview with the Interfax news agency that he would seek to protect Russia and its president when he meets EU leaders and public figures.

In what are seen as some of his most explicit comments endorsing Putin’s policies, the 83-year-old said the Ukraine crisis provided an “excuse” for the US to pick on Russia.

The 160 kilometre wall was once a symbol of the Cold War. Gorbachev’s reforms helped pave the way for its fall. He will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and greet crowds at the former Checkpoint Charlie border crossing on Sunday.