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Putin urges Russia, France to join hands for united Europe


09:37, September 03, 2012

MOSCOW, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Russia and France should make joint efforts for a united Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday.

During a ceremony marking the 200th anniversary of the 1812 Patriotic War at the Russian village of Borodino outside Moscow, the national capital of Russia, Putin watched a reenactment of the Battle of Borodino, a decisive fight between Russian and French troops.

Though the Russians and French people were rivals during the Battle of Borodino 200 years ago, soldiers from both sides showed their courage and heroism, Putin said, adding the two peoples should joint hands today to promote a united Europe.

"In our history, we have been together more often than at war. France has almost always been our close ally," Putin said. "I hope together we shall be able to do more to unite Europe on the basis of common moral values."

More than 3,000 military and history enthusiasts from 120 history clubs around the world took part in Sunday's reenactment, which lasted for an hour and a half.

The Battle of Borodino, fought on Sept.7, 1812, was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia, involving more than 250,000 troops and causing at least 70,000 casualties. The battle was led by Emperor Napoleon I of French side and General Mikhail Kutuzov of Russian side.

The battlefield is now the site where the State Borodino War and History Museum and Reserve of Russia stands, which is about 120 km west of Moscow and covers an area of 112 square kilometers.

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