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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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8 November 2018

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Address to Participants in the Russian Premiere of the Documentary ‘Meeting Gorbachev’

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Address to Participants in the Russian Premiere
of the Documentary ‘Meeting Gorbachev’
Dear Friends,
I extend my greetings and gratitude to you for your interest in this documentary film. I’ve been told that it has already been shown at film festivals in various countries and was received with attention and interest.  I think that such interest is not hard to explain. I see many signs indicating that people are increasingly directing their thoughts to the period when we ended the cold war and initiated changes in our country. That time has not been consigned to oblivion, nor has it become ‘ancient history’, as some would like it to. It appears that the experience of those years is something we need today.
We began the process of change because the time and the people demanded it. Real change always entails risk. We accepted the risk because it was necessary. And despite all obstacles, difficulties and mistakes we were able to accomplish the main task: change became irreversible, our country and world were not the same as before.
We are now witnessing the attempts to reverse all that, to push the world back to the past. The greatest danger is a return to confrontation and a new arms race. Some are already talking of nuclear war as though it was something admissible; preparations for it are being made and scenarios are discussed. As the saying goes, this is out of all reason.
Left to right: Werner Herzog, Mikhail Gorbachev, Andre SInger
We must not put up with it! We must not resign, we must not surrender. I do believe that a new cold war can be stopped, and I will do everything in my power for it.
“A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. This is what President Reagan and I said in our joint statement at our very first summit in Geneva in 1985. I think those words must become the slogan of a new movement against the nuclear threat.
I recently wrote an article that was published by the New York Times and dozens of other media. It was a protest against the destruction of the INF Treaty. The same day former US Secretary of State George Shultz spoke out on the subject in the same newspaper. He wrote a letter to me. I am glad that we are working together against a new arms race.
The film that you will be seeing today reminds us how difficult was the road from cold war to cooperation. But we went the distance. Hundreds of millions of people rid themselves of fear and became free. Thousands of nuclear missiles were destroyed. Mankind was given a chance to address the global problems of security, poverty and the environment. Those are the main accomplishments of that era. The most important thing today is to preserve those gains and not to allow them to be ruined by the reckless people who could wreak havoc on the world.  
We talked about it with the film’s authors, Werner Herzog and Andre Singer as they described their project to me. I felt that they are concerned about the current situation in the world and want the lessons of recent past to help find a way out of the current crisis in world affairs. I agreed to participate in this project and I think I was not mistaken.

This is a battle to which every one of us can and must contribute! 


Mikhail Gorbachev