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BERLIN, November 9. /TASS/. Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet President and the Nobel Peace Prize winner, has called on the West and Russia to pool efforts to work out a concept of building a common European home.
“I think the first thing to be done is to revive the interest of our public circles to the idea of the construction of a common European home - a home, not a theatre of hostilities,” Gorbachev said on Sunday, opening a forum dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. “It would be right to involve people, civil society institutions to it.”
“Let us think, let us set up a working group from among those who took part in the forum, those who can be invited - renown, authoritative people,” he said. “Let us set up a group within the framework of our forum and following discussions and joint efforts we will have a first variant of such initiative - the initiative to resume the construction of a common European home.” The project, according to Gorbachev, “should incorporate ideas for both a short-term and a long-term perspective.”
Regrettably, he said, Russian and the West were losing trust to each other “at a moment when they must try to find common points.”
“Pledges to follow the path embarked upon after the end of the Cold War have been left behind,” the former Soviet leader said. “We have changed ourselves, and all of us are to blame for that. So much for looking for those to blame, now it’s high time to rebuild trust. This is number one task.”
“I am confident it’s not all lost yet. We must look for solutions, resist negative tendencies. We do have strength for that,” he stressed. “I always remember the experience of the 1980s. It looked like the arms race was so global that the world was hanging by a thread.” He recalled an episode with geese appearing “on American radars.” “The first reaction was: the USSR’s strategic warplanes are attacking America,” he noted. “They were about to open fire. But they were cold-blooded enough to wait to see these were just geese.”
A recognized “father” of united Germany, Gorbachev arrived in Berlin to attend festivities on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On Friday, he met with local residents at the former Checkpoint Charlie, a symbol of the Cold War, where he opened an exhibition dedicated to the developments of 25 years ago. On Monday, November 10, Gorbachev will be received by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.