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Medvedev visit to Germany raises hope for new era

Russia's new president arrives in Berlin Thursday for his first official visit to the West.

COME TO BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel met then-President-elect Dmitri Medvedev in Moscow in March.

Steffen Kugler/AP

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In his first visit to the West as Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev arrives in Berlin Thursday for a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. While his one-day stay isn't expected to allow for substantive progress on key issues, Mr. Medvedev's decision to make Germany his first Western stop holds promise of warmer ties between Moscow and Berlin.

In Germany, the traditional link between Europe and Russia, hopes are high that the visit signals the beginning of a new era of Russia's ties with the West, which were badly strained during the final years of Vladimir Putin's rule, and the first step toward common ground on issues such as energy policy, human rights, and Kosovo.

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