The telegram reads, in particular:
“It was with great sorrow that I learned of the passing of former President of the Federal Republic of Germany Johannes Rau.
Johannes Rau will live on in our memories as a sincere friend of Russia who did much to develop relations between our countries and peoples in the spirit of post-war reconciliation, trust and genuine partnership.
A patriarch of German politics and an outstanding state and public figure, he was committed to the principles of honesty and duty and to the ideals of goodness and justice in every post he occupied”.
Mr Putin also sent a telegram of condolences to Mr Rau’s wife, Christina Rau.