Gorbachev claims Europe ‘misunderstands’ Russia

May 14th, 2009 - 2:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama London, May 14 (ANI): Mikhail Gorbachev, the erstwhile Soviet Union’s last president, has said that Europe still misunderstands Russia nearly two decades after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Gorbachev, who resigned in 1991, said Russia does not want military conflict but suggested it should be treated as an equal.

“We must achieve an understanding of Russia by Europe. This is absent,” The Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

“Russia as an aggressor, Russia as an imperialist - this is all nonsense. Russia is a self-sufficient state that has everything it needs to conduct its long-term policy. Russia does not want to fight anyone,” Gorbachev added.

At the same time, he said that Russian leaders sometimes err by “reacting too sharply” to events, possibly referring to the tough anti-Western rhetoric that deepened Western wariness about Russia’s intentions during Vladimir Putin’s eight-year presidency.

Gorbachev said he likes President Barack Obama’s “point of view” on US-Russian relations.

“He has said, ‘Yes, we have differences, we don’t agree on everything, but we will work with Russia,”‘ Gorbachev said.

On domestic affairs, Mr Gorbachev reaffirmed that he plans to help create a new political party that would support democracy, saying organisers have received “more than 10,000 letters in support of this idea”.

He has generally praised Putin, now prime minister, but has carefully criticised the growing Kremlin monopoly on power by targeting Putin’s dominant United Russia party. (ANI)

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