tributes in the West, sober condolences in Moscow

tributes in the West, sober condolences in Moscow

The death at the age of 91 of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the USSR, has aroused vibrant tributes in the West. The emotion of Western reactions on Wednesday 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 world history”.

Imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalny also paid tribute to the former leader, stressing that he had known how to “leave power peacefully and voluntarily, respecting the will of the voters. That alone is already a great achievement by the standards of the former USSR,” he said in a message posted by his team on Twitter.

In a press release, 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,” said the American president.

“A Man of Peace”

“Switzerland joins the whole world in mourning a man of peace,” tweeted Swiss President Ignazio Cassis. He paid tribute to the last leader of the USSR, who “changed the course of the 20th century”.

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”.

China hailed the role of the last Soviet leader in bringing Beijing and Moscow closer together, after three decades of rupture.

Dream “in ruins”

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. NATO, Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter. “His vision of a better world remains an example.”

“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 fundamentally changed my life. I will never forget it,” said former Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in what was East Germany.

“Breaking 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 Emmanuel Macron, Mikhail Gorbachev was a “man of peace whose choices opened a path to freedom for Russians. His commitment to peace in Europe has changed our common history,” said the French president in a tweet.

“His wife before work”

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 for a free Europe,” she 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.

#tributes #West #sober #condolences #Moscow

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