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Russia's Medvedev Compares 'Return' of Crimea to Fall of Berlin Wall

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday compared Russia's 'historic' annexation of Crimea to the reunification of Germany in 1989.

Speaking to parliament about Western sanctions imposed last year because of Russia's actions in Ukraine, Medvedev said the "historic" step to annex the Black Sea peninsula in March last year had been justified.

"For many the return of Crimea was the restoration of historic justice, which in its significance is equivalent to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany or the return to China of Hong Kong and Macao," he said.

Medvedev said Russia's economy had contracted by around 2 percent in the first quarter, but that the economic situation could have been far worse and was stabilizing.

"If external pressure intensifies, and oil prices remain at an extremely low level for a long time, we will have to develop in a new economic reality," he said.

"I am convinced that we will be able to live even in such a reality. The experience of the recent period has shown that we have learned how to do this."

Material from the Moscow Times was included in this report.

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