Mourning for statesman Gorbachev: "We will never forget this legacy"

Shortly after Mikhail Gorbachev's death became known, there were first reactions.

Mourning for statesman Gorbachev: "We will never forget this legacy"

Shortly after Mikhail Gorbachev's death became known, there were first reactions. From Ursula von der Leyen to Boris Johnson to federal politicians, the focus is on his services to peace and freedom in Germany and Europe.

The death of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has sparked grief around the world. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen highlighted the importance of the former Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev for Europe. "He played a crucial role in ending the Cold War and the fall of the Iron Curtain," von der Leyen wrote on Twitter. She described Gorbachev as a leader who was reliable and respected. "He paved the way for a free Europe. We will never forget this legacy."

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was "deeply saddened" by Gorbachev's death. Guterres said he was a "unique statesman" who changed the course of history. "He did more than anyone else to bring the Cold War to a peaceful end." The 73-year-old Portuguese expressed his condolences to the family of Gorbachev and the people of Russia. The statement by the Nobel Peace Prize winner that peace is not unity in similarity, but unity in diversity, was put into practice with his policy.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "I have always admired the courage and integrity he showed in bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end." He also confronted Gorbachev with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "At a time of Putin's aggression in Ukraine, his relentless commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example for all of us," Johnson wrote.

Russian President Vladimir Putin himself also expressed his deepest condolences. The Interfax news agency quoted Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Peskov announced that Putin would send the family a telegram on Wednesday morning. The "author of a new way of thinking" who gave the country and the world a new lease of life had died, said the head of the Russian Court of Accounts, Alexei Kudrin, on his Telegram channel.

German federal politicians also acknowledged Gorbachev's importance for the Federal Republic and in particular for reunification in their first reactions. Without Gorbachev, "the peaceful revolutions in the countries of the Eastern Bloc would not have been conceivable here," wrote Bundestag Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt from the Greens on Twitter. "His words have encouraged us, made me strong."

Germany owes a lot to Gorbachev, Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger from the FDP also wrote on Twitter. "He ushered in the end of the Cold War, enabled Germany's reunification and gave his country a democratic momentum. A brave man of conviction whose voice will be missed."

Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir from the Greens made a similar statement and added: "His death is depressing. Even more so at this time. Thank you

CDU leader Friedrich Merz wrote on Twitter: "The CDU mourns the loss of a statesman who Germany could trust and who trusted us." Without him, "German unity in freedom" would not have been possible.

Green politician Jürgen Trittin tweeted: "I bow to a great politician of peace Michael

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