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Gorbachev: West needs to give up sanctions and attempts to isolate Russia

April 21, 7:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The former Soviet leader said that it would be wrong to hope that economic hardships could make Russia come to terms with its secondary role in the world
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© Alexey Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, April 21 /TASS/. Western countries should give up attempts to isolate Russia and the practice of imposing individual sanctions in the first place, ex-Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev wrote in an article published by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily on Thursday.

"I am sure that Russia’s role in overcoming the world political crisis can and should be important and positive. It is high time for the West to give up attempts of isolating it. That has never been effective. The more so when it comes to ‘individual sanctions’, which are unlikely to achieve any results. They should be abandoned in the first place. Otherwise, there will be no dialogue or chances to restore trust," Gorbachev said.

The former Soviet leader said that it would be wrong to hope that economic hardships could make Russia come to terms with its secondary role in the world. "If that happened, no one would stand to gain from it. Moreover, all of us can only lose if a new cold war starts," the ex-Soviet president warned.

Gorbachev called on modern states to give up their policy of double standards, which, in his view, is extremely dangerous for resolving global problems. "The states should exclude any possibility of supporting [proceeding from their own interests] terrorist and extremist groups, any movements that favor ‘armed struggle’ and want to overthrow the existing legitimate governments by force. The relations of states in a global world should be regulated not only by norms of international law but also by certain rules of conduct based on universal moral principles," Gorbachev went on to say.

He believes that the Ukraine and Syrian crises could have been avoided, had countries adhered to those principles.

Gorbachev noted that the U.S-Russian dialogue on Syria had contributed to some easing of tensions between the two countries. "If this trend develops further, it is necessary to spread it to other spheres of relations. But it’s going to be a long and hard process because too great a damage has been caused to trust," the ex-Soviet president concluded.

Gorbachev also said that new elements should be added to the current mechanisms of the Ukraine settlement with participation of Russia and the United States.

"These mechanisms [the Minsk agreements and the "Normandy four"] should be preserved. But, apparently, it is necessary to supplement and stimulate their work perhaps through discussions at the U.N. Security Council or some other mechanisms involving Russia and the United States," Gorbachev said.

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