US president praised late Soviet leader for embracing ‘democratic reforms’
US President Joe Biden expressed his deepest condolences on the passing of Mikhail Gorbachev to his family and friends, praising his willingness to risking his whole career for a “a safer world and greater freedom for millions of people.”
“When he came to power, the Cold War had lasted nearly 40 years and Communism even longer, with devastating consequences. Few high-level Soviet officials had the courage to admit that things had to change,” Biden said in a statement shared by the White House on Tuesday evening, describing Mikhail Gorbachev as a “a man of remarkable vision.”
Gorbachev “believed in glasnost and perestroika…not as mere slogans, but as the way forward for the people of the Soviet Union”, continued the president, saying that the Soviet leader “adopted the democratic reforms” which ended “decades of brutal political repression”.
These are the acts of a rare leader – a man with the imagination to see that a different future was possible and the courage to risk his entire career to achieve it.
Biden also recalled Gorbachev’s visit to the White House in 2009, where they “discussed at length our countries’ ongoing work to reduce US and Russian nuclear stockpiles.”
“We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends, and to people around the world who have benefited from his belief in a better world,” Biden added.
Gorbachev, 91, died Tuesday in Moscow. He became General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985, and in 1990 made history as the first President of the USSR. It will also be the last, because the Soviet Union breaks up at the end of 1991.
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