Joint declaration by Heiko Maas, Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, on Germany’s humanitarian gesture benefiting the remaining survivors of the blockade of Leningrad (27 January 2019):
75 years ago today, the city of Leningrad – present-day St Petersburg – was fully liberated by Soviet troops from the blockade that had been imposed by the German Wehrmacht and that has gone down in history as a brutal act directed at an entire city and its population. The liberation brought to an end 872 days of death, hunger and suffering during which more than one million people lost their lives.
We, the Foreign Ministers of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Russian Federation, welcome the decision by the German Government, based on recognition of responsibility for the injustice that was committed in the name of Germany during those years, to make a voluntary humanitarian gesture for the benefit of the remainig survivors of the blockade in the form of payments in the amount of 12 million euros for the modernisation of the hospital for war veterans and the establishment of a German-Russian Centre that will be open to the German and Russian general public and that will commemorate the victims of the St Petersburg blockade.
We are confident that this voluntary gesture will improve the quality of life for the remaining survivors of the blockade and will promote historical reconciliation between the peoples of both countries, which will serve as a basis for our future bilateral relations.