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Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Former German Foreign Minister, dies

Patriarch of German diplomacy, ex-Foreign Minister, and Vice Chancellor of Germany, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, died on Friday night, April1. The politician has died at the age of 89 surrounded by his family at home, Der Spiegel announced with the reference to the office of the ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs in Bonn. The cause of death was heart failure.

Mr. Genscher served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1974 to 1992. Former chairman of the Free Democratic Party has made a significant contribution to the reunification of Germany, DW says. In 1992 Genscher voluntarily resigned from the post of minister of the federal government, which he had occupied a total for 23 years. In 2013 Genscher helped in release from custody of ex-Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. At the request of the politician a German businessman granted a private jet to deliver the former entrepreneur to Berlin. Genscher met Khodorkovsky at the airport himself. Moreover, the ex-head of Yukos has pointed out that it was the former head of the German Foreign Ministry who has offered him to write a petition for pardon.

In the last years of his life Genscher advocated the restart of relations between Russia and the West. In addition, the former head of German diplomacy criticized the sanctions against the Russian Federation, urging to cancel them. The current leader of the FDP, Christian Lindner, has expressed sorrow for Genscher’s death. "Genscher has written the history and has influenced our country. We owe him a lot. Our grief is immeasurable", - the politician posted on Twitter.

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