‘West has been blaming Russia for everything, now there’s backlash’ – Gorbachev
There is a need for Moscow and Washington to cooperate, but it's hard for Russia when it understands “it’s being cheated,” former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said in an interview with AP, focused on Russia-US relations.
Gorbachev said the West’s scapegoating Russia for such a long time couldn’t but leave a trace.
“They have been badgering Russia with accusations and blaming it for everything. And now there is a backlash to that in Russia.”
It doesn’t mean that Moscow doesn’t want the collaboration with Washington, he hastened to add, but there are issues interfering with it – for example, the US itself.
“Russia wants to have friendly ties with America, but it's difficult to do that when Russia sees that it's being cheated," Gorbachev told AP.
He added that the tension between modern Russia and the West dates back to the collapse of the USSR.
“They were rubbing their hands, saying, ‘How nice! We had been trying to do something about the Soviet Union for decades, and it ate itself up!’” Gorbachev said, slamming Western “triumphalism” as a key issue in relations between Russia and the West.
Nevertheless, Russia and the US should develop amicable relations because they are “so important and concern everyone else, so we must take the interests of others into account.”
“The world needs Russia and the United States to cooperate. Together, they could lead the world ... to a new path.”
Gorbachev went on to explain why Moscow-Washington friendship is essential.
“If we don't cooperate, if we don't pull our efforts together and talk to each other, everyone will build up arms. If there is a rifle on the wall in the first act of a play, it will go off in the end,” he said, referring to Anton Chekhov’s famous dramatic principle.
Gorbachev also voiced his opinion on President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump.
Putin, according to the former Soviet President, is “a worthy president.”
“He has proven his worth. He is a strong person,” Gorbachev added. “I almost fully supported him first, and then I began to voice criticism. I can't renounce my views, and he wants something else.”
As for Donald Trump, Gorbachev said, “He has little political experience, but maybe that's a good thing.”