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MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. Settlement of the situation around Ukraine requires "serious meetings," Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the Soviet Union, said on Friday, presenting his new book "After the Kremlin."
“All of us, both politicians and society, are worried over what is going on in Ukraine. What has always been our inborn trait is that our government is supporting people who are in trouble, is receiving thousands of such people, regardless of our own troubles.”
When asked about possible development of the situation, Gorbachev said: “Serious meetings are needed, a serious conversation.” He reminded that he had already come out with an idea of a meeting between the United States and Russian leaders.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his words, has recently “voiced serious criticism of NATO and its expansion plans.” “I see the situation won’t improve. To a larger extent, I think, the president is right pointing to a special responsibility of the United States,” he noted.
The former Soviet leader praised the role of Russia’s current president. “I think we, Russian citizens, must remember that he has saved Russian from collapse that was about to begin when many regions tended not to recognize our Constitution,” Gorbachev said, referring to Putin’s early political career.
In his book, Gorbachev recalls “perestroika” experiences, cites his conversations with his supporters and opponents, shares impressions of his meetings with leading Russian and European politicians. The narration starts with his last days in the Kremlin and with what he thinks of the present-day Russia.
Having left the Kremlin, Gorbachev, for 25 years, has been heading the Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies, or the Gorbachev Foundation. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, Gorbachev takes part in the activities of international organizations and engages in charity.
The six years he was at the helm of power (from 1985 to 1991) gave an impetus not only to political reforms in Russia, but also prompted global changes.
During the recent celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the former Soviet leader called on the West and Russia to pool efforts to work out a concept of building a common European home. He warned against unleashing a new Cold War and expressed confidence the West and Russia were able to find points of contact.