The tomato battle returns after two years of absence in Buñol
The death at the age of 91 of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the USSR, has aroused vibrant tributes in the West. His crucial role in ending the Cold War and his fight for peace have been hailed, gaining prominence after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The emotion of Western reactions contrasts with the sobriety of Russian President Vladimir Putin for whom “Mikhail Gorbachev is a politician and a statesman who had a great influence on the evolution of the History of the world”. “He guided our country through a period of complex and dramatic changes, and great foreign policy, economic and social challenges,” he said in a condolence telegram released by the Kremlin.
In a statement, US President Joe Biden hailed Mikhail Gorbachev as a “rare leader”. His actions were those of a leader with enough “imagination to see that another future was possible and the courage to risk his entire career to achieve it. The result was a safer world and more freedom for millions of people,” Biden said.
“A man of peace” for Cassis
“Switzerland joins the whole world in mourning a man of peace”, tweeted the president of the Confederation Ignazio Cassis. He paid tribute to the last leader of the USSR, who “changed the course of the 20th century”.
“He will be remembered as a global leader who represented freedom and hope – two values that the world desperately needs today,” Cassis continued.
The President of the National Council Irène Kälin (Vert-es / AG) and the President of the Council of States Thomas Hefti (PLR / GL) also expressed their condolences on the Twitter account of the Parliament Services: “With courage and foresight, he has greatly contributed to the peaceful unification of Europe. In present times his legacy is more precious than ever.”
“We will miss you at a time when the world needs visionary leaders like you,” tweeted former Green Cross International director Adam Koniuszewski. “It is a question of tackling immediately, as you rightly pointed out, the challenges posed by security, development and the environment, which are interconnected”, he added, in reference to a old statement of Mr. Gorbachev, who had founded the Green Cross, based in Geneva, in 1993 in Kyoto.
For the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, “the world has lost an immense world leader, committed to multilateralism, and tireless defender of peace”, “a unique statesman who changed the course of history” and did “more than anyone else to peacefully bring about the end of the Cold War”.
China hailed the role of the last Soviet leader in bringing Beijing and Moscow closer together, after three decades of rupture. “Mr. Gorbachev has made a positive contribution to the normalization of relations between China and the Soviet Union,” spokesman for Chinese diplomacy Zhao Lijian told reporters.
“Mikhail Gorbachev’s historic reforms led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, helped end the Cold War and opened up the possibility of a partnership between Russia and NATO,” said the Secretary General of the NATO, Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter. “His vision of a better world remains an example.”
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid tribute to the last Soviet leader, thanking him “for his decisive contribution to German unity” and his “courage for democratic openness and building bridges between East and West “. This dream is “in ruins, shattered by Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine”, he added.
“He died at a time when not only did democracy fail in Russia, but Russia and Russian President (Vladimir) Putin drove new rifts in Europe and launched a terrible war against a neighboring country, Ukraine. “, added German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
“He showed by example how a single statesman can change the world for the better. Mikhail Gorbachev also changed my life in fundamental ways. I will never forget him,” testified ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel who grew up in what was East Germany.
“Bringing Down the Iron Curtain”
“I have always admired the courage and integrity he showed to end the Cold War,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also tweeted. “At a time of (Vladimir) Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, his tireless commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example for all of us,” he insisted.
For French President Emmanuel Macron, Mikhail Gorbachev was a “man of peace whose choices opened a path to freedom for Russians. His commitment to peace in Europe changed our common history”.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hailed on Twitter “a trusted and respected leader” who “played a crucial role in ending the Cold War and bringing down the Iron Curtain. He paved the way to a free Europe,” she said.
“Human Rights Above the State”
“Mikhail Gorbachev is dead. He gave more freedom to the enslaved peoples of the Soviet Union than they had ever had, giving them hope for a more dignified life,” said the head of diplomacy. Polish Zbigniew Rau.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu was more critical. “It’s a good thing that he started the reform process, but it’s also a good thing that this process continued when he wanted to put an end to it,” he said.
For Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, co-winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, Mikhail Gorbachev – who himself received this Nobel in 1990 – “loved his wife more than his job, placed human rights above the state, valued a peaceful sky more than personal power”.
Mr. Gorbachev “left power peacefully and voluntarily, respecting the will of the voters. That alone is already a great achievement by the standards of the former USSR”, said Alexei Navalny, in a message published by his team on Twitter.
“It was under (Mr. Gorbachev) that the last political prisoners were released in the USSR,” added the main critic of the Kremlin, himself imprisoned since 2021, after surviving a poisoning he blames on the Russian authorities. , which the latter deny.
Mr. Navalny also considered that the former leader was “one of the few who did not take advantage of power and opportunities for personal enrichment”. Over the years, “my attitude towards Gorbachev has evolved from unbridled annoyance (…) to respect tinged with sadness,” he said.
This article has been published automatically. Sources: ats / afp
#tomato #battle #returns #years #absence #Buñol