‘One of a Kind’: World Reactions to Mikhail Gorbachev’s Death | Political news

The last Soviet leader ended the Cold War, but his reforms accelerated the breakup of the USSR.

Mikhail Gorbachev, whose reforms ended the Cold War but led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, has died aged 91.

Gorbachev, the first and only president of the Soviet Union, died Tuesday after a long illness, Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital said in a statement.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is considered one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century.

Here are some of the reactions from around the world:

Russian President Vladimir Putin

He expressed “his deepest condolences”, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Interfax news agency. “Tomorrow he will send a telegram of condolences to his family and friends.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

“Mikhail Gorbachev was a unique statesman who changed the course of history. The world has lost an imposing global leader, a committed multilateralist and a tireless advocate for peace. I am deeply saddened by his passing.”

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

“Mikhail Gorbachev was a trusted and respected leader. He played a crucial role in ending the Cold War and bringing down the Iron Curtain. It paved the way for a free Europe… This legacy is one we will not forget.

French President Emmanuel Macron

“My condolences on the death of Mikhail Gorbachev, a man of peace whose decisions paved the way to freedom for Russians. His commitment to peace in Europe changed our common history.

The Reagan Foundation and Institute

“The Reagan Foundation and Institute mourns the loss of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, a man who was once a political opponent of Ronald Reagan and who eventually became a friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gorbachev family and to the Russian people. »

Former US Secretary of State James Baker III

“History will remember Mikhail Gorbachev as a giant who led his great nation to democracy. He played the critical role in bringing the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion through his decision not to use force to hold the empire together…He misses the free world dearly.

Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty at the White House with US President Ronald Reagan. [File: Dennis Paquin/Reuters]

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

“I have always admired the courage and integrity he showed in bringing the Cold War to a successful conclusion…At a time of Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, his tireless commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example for all of us.”

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

“He was a good friend, as surprising as it may seem… He was a very pleasant man to deal with and he had a great vision for the future of his country which is the opposite of that which is now articulated. . History will remember him as a great transformational leader.

Jim Chalmers, Australian Treasurer

“The curtain has fallen on one of the world’s most important leaders. He was a pivotal figure at a defining moment. When the world saw conflict and impasse, it saw peace and possibility. He was the epitome of courage and vision and he was a reminder that it takes more courage to end a war than to start one and his gift is even more remarkable in the contemporary world. There is no history of the 20th century that does not have him play a central role. So the world mourns his passing today.

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