'Russia, France should join hands for united Europe'
Moscow: Russia and France should make joint efforts for a united Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.
During a ceremony held to mark the 200th anniversary of the 1812 Patriotic War at the Russian village of Borodino outside Moscow on Sunday, Putin watched a re-enactment of the Battle of Borodino, a decisive fight between Russian and French troops, Xinhua reported.
On this occasion, Putin said 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. The people of the two sides should join hands 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."
Over 3,000 military and history enthusiasts from 120 history clubs around the world participated in Sunday's re-enactment.
The Battle of Borodino, fought on September 07, 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.