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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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1 June 2018

Mikhail Gorbachev meets a visiting group of US citizens


On 1 June 2018, Mikhail Gorbachev met a group of US citizens visiting Russia under a programme run by the Sister City Association. The American guests coming from across the United States had visited Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, and Saint Petersburg before coming to Moscow. They shared their impressions of the trip and voiced their desire to facilitate the resolution of the current crisis in US–Russia relations through people’s diplomacy and civil society initiatives.
Mikhail Gorbachev endorsed this initiative. “It’s good you’ve come here,” he said. “It is always important to have contacts between citizens, people’s diplomacy, and especially in times like these.”
Presenting his assessment of the current global situation, the former Soviet President said: “I would describe the current period as a major crisis of global politics. Politics is lagging behind the changes which are taking place in the world. Politics has failed to anticipate the consequences of globalisation, the rise of new technology, and the emergence of new global players. All problems, threats, and challenges that we face today have this gap as their root cause.”
Still, even in most difficult crises, we shouldn’t panic or become pessimistic, Mikhail Gorbachev continued. “I know there are antiwar movement veterans here among you, people who during the Cold War consistently urged dialogue and ending the arms race. It’s great to see you continue to champion this cause today. The voice of civil society should speak loud and clear!
By the way, I also count myself as a civil society member. I left public service long ago, and I don’t hold any public office or have any official public duties. I believe, however, that I have my duties as a citizen, as an activist, and I have opportunities to meet people, to speak to the media. And in spite of my age, I try to use these opportunities.”
The global problems facing humanity can only be addressed through joint efforts, if we come together, Mikhail Gorbachev emphasised. Our two countries also have their major domestic problems. “However, we should not look for causes outside, blame Russia for domestic US problems. We have to address our problems through our own efforts,” he added. “I remember speaking to a big audience in the US Mid-West some ten or twelve years ago. One young man asked me what needed to be done to improve the worsening situation in the country. I was surprised to hear him ask that, but he insisted that I gave an answer. So I said: “I will not offer any recipes but I believe America needs its own perestroika. It’s up to you what form this perestroika will take.”

Mikhail Gorbachev fielded questions from the audience of American guests and expressed hope that through joint efforts we could break the vicious circle that hampers US–Russia relations and normalise them, reopening prospects for cooperation and partnership between our two nations.