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Last leader of USSR says Europe must be common home, not theater of war

January 30, 2015, 17:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
For the former Soviet leader it is impossible to imagine Russia outside Europe
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Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev

© Ilya Pitalev/TASS

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has warned against over-dramatizing Russia’s relations with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and urged solutions to European problems.

"PACE membership incidents have occurred now and then. It is not the first such case. This indicates that far from everything in Europe is calm and bright," Gorbachev told TASS about the PACE’s decision to strip Russia of the right to vote.

For the former Soviet leader it is impossible to imagine Russia outside Europe.

"I am for Europe being our common home, and not a theater of war. Every step must be taken to this end. After all, we are Europeans, we have experienced so much during our history and we have shared so much with Europe. Russia is a European country. Russia freed Europe, Russia shed blood for Europe’s sake."

Gorbachev believes that in the current no easy situation "processes should be shifted to the track of finding common solutions of world and European problems." In his opinion the risk of Russia’s walkout from the Council of Europe will never materialize.

"The way I see it, it is not a settled matter at all. Only some "hot heads" may claim otherwise. Everybody else should retain common sense and propose ways of achieving a new phase of cooperation and interaction for the sake of the people - Europeans and not only them."

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