Joe Biden: Gorbachev risked his career for a better future
President Joe Biden offered his condolences on the passing of Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader who died Tuesday in Moscow at age 91.
“When he came to power, the Cold War had already lasted nearly 40 years and communism even longer, with devastating consequences. Few high-ranking Soviet officials had the courage to admit that change was necessary. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I saw him do this and more. As leader of the USSR, he worked with President Reagan to reduce the nuclear arsenals of our two countries, to the relief of people around the world praying for an end to the nuclear arms race. After decades of brutal political repression, he undertook democratic reforms. He believed in Glasnost and Perestroika — openness and perestroika — not just as slogans, but as a way forward for the people of the Soviet Union after so many years of isolation and deprivation,” Biden said in a statement.
“These were the actions of a rare leader with the imagination to see that another future was possible and the courage to risk his entire career to achieve it. The result was a safer world and greater freedom for millions of people,” the statement said. – Even years after leaving office, he was still seriously engaged. When Mr. Gorbachev visited the White House in 2009, he and I talked at length about the ongoing work of our countries to reduce the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. It was easy to see why so many people around the world think so highly of him.”
Biden expressed his deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mikhail Gorbachev and to all the people who benefited from his faith in a better world.