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The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us - all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all  faiths - must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.

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3 July 2017

Mikhail Gorbachev’s message to participants in the unveiling ceremony for the Gorbachev and Reagan sculpture

First of all, I would like to thank you for the invitation to attend this ceremony. I appreciate the efforts of those who initiated this project and of the sculptor Alexander Bourganov who made it a reality.

I believe this project looks not just to the past but also to the future, and I therefore would like to share with you my reflections on the present and the future of US-Russian relations.

These relations are going through difficult, even perilous, times now, and it is our duty to examine the causes of the current crisis and to look for ways to overcome it. I am confident it can be done and that our countries will be able to get back on the path of cooperation and, ultimately, partnership.
In the second half of the 1980s, together with the leaders of the United States and other nations, we succeeded in stepping back from the brink and put an end to the Cold War. We signed agreements through which over 80 percent of the nuclear stockpiles that had accumulated at the peak of the arms race have now been eliminated. The world was rid of the fear in which it had lived for decades.
I am confident that it was a great benefit for all, not a victory of one side over the other. This view was shared by both President Reagan and President Bush> with whom I discussed these events multiple times over the subsequent years. It was necessary to go further and proceed towards a comprehensive partnership between our countries and peoples.
It is not our fault that, instead of celebrating a shared victory over the Cold War, the United States chose to announce its “victory in the Cold War.” This was the underlying cause of the mistakes and failures that have undermined the foundations of new relations between our two countries.
We should remember this; however, the most important task today is to do everything we can to resolve the current dangerous impasse. There is one proven remedy for it – a dialogue based on mutual respect. Relaunching it would be an uphill task, as we are burdened with many mutual grievances. However, three decades ago, our dialogue with the United States was not easy either. It had its opponents and ill-wishers who sought to derail this process.
In the end, it was the political will of the leaders of our two countries that played a decisive role. And it is exactly what we need today. It is what the citizens of both countries and people all over the world expect from the Presidents of Russia and the United States.
However, we cannot afford to simply wait for it to happen. And here I want to mention the role of civil society. I am confident that every one of us can make a contribution to overcoming the current distrust. We need to get rid of the hostile confrontational rhetoric and establish a multi-level dialogue involving citizens, academics, artists and young people.
I hope everyone in attendance here today will show resolve and courage so that together we could open a new page in relations between Russia and the United States. We and the entire world do not need another cold war or “cold peace”. A true peace, peace for all will be our common victory.
I would like to conclude by citing the remarks of President John F. Kennedy from his June 1963 speech at American University: “What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.