The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has sent his deepest condolences to the family and friends of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev after his death on Tuesday, while praising his courage for admitting that “things had to change”.
“When he came to power, the Cold War had been almost 40 years old 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 issued by the White House.
“As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I saw him do that and more. As the leader of the USSR, he worked with President Reagan to reduce the nuclear arsenals of our two countries, much to the relief of people around the world who prayed for the end of the nuclear arms race,” added the US president.
Biden praised Gorbachev’s role in democratizing Russia after “decades of brutal political repression”, while supporting the Soviet leader’s faith in the opening and restructuring of the USSR after “so many years of isolation and privations”.
“These were the acts of a rare leader: one with the imagination to see that a different future was possible and the courage to risk his entire career to achieve it,” said the US president, adding that the result of that decision was “a safer world and greater freedom for millions of people.
Biden has recalled a bilateral meeting with Gorbachev when he visited the White House in 2009. Then, Biden and the former Soviet leader discussed the ongoing work of Russia and the United States to reduce their respective nuclear arsenals.
“It was easy to see why so many around the world held him in such high regard,” the US president added in the letter.
Source: Europa Press