Olaf Scholz has described the statesman as a “bold reformer,” thanks to whom “democracy and freedom” prevailed in Europe
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised Mikhail Gorbachev for ensuring democracy in Europe. At 91 years old, Mikhail Gorbachev was the last Soviet Union leader.
Speaking on Wednesday, Scholz called Gorbachev a “Bold reformer” and a daring statesman.
“Remember that perestroika was the only way to make it possible for Russia to attempt democracy, and that freedom and democracy were made possible in Europe. Germany could then reunite, and the iron curtain fell.” the German chancellor said.
He added that it was thanks to Gorbachev that “democracy movements” prevailed in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 1980’s.
Scholz noted that his passing came at a time when “Russia was unable to implement democracy” as Russian President Vladimir Putin wages a “dreadful war against a neighboring country, Ukraine” and digs “There are new trenches across Europe”
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, meanwhile, offered his condolences to Gorbachev’s daughter, Irina Virganskaya.
“He is a great stateman. Germany appreciates his decisive contributions to German unity.” Steinmeier said.
He also thanked Gorbachev for his “Courage” that saw the bridging of East and West and noted the role his vision played in this process.
After claiming that Gorbachev suffered in the following years, the German president continued to say that Gorbachev’s dream was ever closer.
“Today the dream lies in ruins, destroyed through Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine,” Steinmeier concluded.
From 1985 to 1990 Gorbachev was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He went on to be the last and first president of the USSR. Following the 1991 country’s collapse, Gorbachev resigned.
As the USSR’s leader, Gorbachev initiated sweeping reforms, known as perestroika, aimed at liberalizing the economy and public life. His rule saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and an end to the Cold War. In 1990, he received the Nobel Peace Prize.