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30 Aug, 2022 22:11

World praises Gorbachev’s legacy

Current and former world leaders shared tributes to the late Soviet leader for ending the Cold War
World praises Gorbachev’s legacy

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen took to Twitter following the announcement of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s death at the age of 91 on Tuesday, tweeting out a eulogy to the man she called a “trusted and respected leader.”

Gorbachev “played a crucial role to end the Cold War and bring down the Iron Curtain,” von der Leyen wrote, adding that this “opened the way for a free Europe.”

While Gorbachev’s policies resulted in the fall of the Soviet Union, the late president’s tenure was marked by a thawing of relations with the West, and a handful of other Western leaders joined von der Leyen in mourning his passing.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres mourned Gorbachev as a “towering global leader, committed multilateralist, and tireless advocate for peace,” describing the Soviet leader’s devotion to “unity in diversity” as well as his pursuit of “the path of negotiation, reform, transparency and disarmament.”

Outgoing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised “the courage and integrity he showed in bringing the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion,” also getting in a jab at Russian President Vladimir Putin before concluding that Gorbachev’s “commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example to us all.”

Liz Truss, the front-runner in the race to replace Johnson as PM, described Gorbachev as a “remarkable statesman who made a profound contribution to global security and stability, working with Western leaders to end the Cold War,” adding that now “more than ever, this legacy of cooperation and peace must prevail.”

French President Emmanuel Macron praised Gorbachev as a leader “whose choices opened up a path of liberty for Russians,” while his “commitment to peace in Europe changed our shared history.”

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called him a “champion of democracy” and a “man who changed the history of the 20th century,” mourning the loss of his “farsightedness and his serenity of judgment.”