Marcos mourns death of last Soviet Union leader Gorbachev

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2022 06:54 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev talk during a press conference in the northern village of Schleswig, Germany, Dec. 21, 2004. Carsten Rehder, EPA-EFE/File
Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev talk during a press conference in the northern village of Schleswig, Germany, Dec. 21, 2004. Carsten Rehder, EPA-EFE/File

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday joined other world leaders in mourning the death of Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader. 

“The Filipino people condole with the Russian people for the loss of a great leader in the person of Mikhail Gorbachev, and we pray he rests in peace,” Marcos said in a statement.

“That the world is much safer now and there is greater freedom for millions of people in the former communist countries in Eastern Europe is in part because of Mr. Gorbachev’s political and economic reforms,” he said.

Marcos noted that Gorbachev “is best remembered for the disbandment of his own political party, the Communist party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), which has the biggest membership in the world.”

In power between 1985 and 1991, Gorbachev also defused US-Soviet nuclear tensions and brought Eastern Europe out from behind the Iron Curtain. 

He won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating a historic nuclear arms pact with US leader Ronald Reagan, and his decision to withhold the Soviet army when the Berlin Wall fell a year earlier was seen as key to preserving Cold War peace.

Gorbachev was also championed in the West for spearheading reforms to achieve transparency and greater public discussion that hastened the breakup of the Soviet empire.

He died “after a serious and long illness,” according to the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow. He was 91.

 — With a report from Agence France-Presse 

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