Although with a delay, Russia’s social democrats have joined the final round of the pre-election race; to be more exact, not social democrats themselves, but their leader (which is the same by the way). There are just few people in Russia who read parties’ programs developed especially for election, we pay more attention to personalities. There are different estimates of Mikhail Gorbachev’s works, but his popularity cannot be denied, it’s for sure. Gorbachev’s press-conference was held in Moscow yesterday. The ex-president of the USSR, who hasn’t been in focus of the mass media for a very long period already, presented his new book The Sides of Globalization (the book is the result of collective work under Gorbachev’s guidance).
Mikhail Gorbachev said at the press-conference that the authors had been working on the book for several years. “And not only Russian specialists actively participated in discussion of the globalization problem. We co-operated with the Harvard University, with Japanese and German specialists.”
In Gorbachev’s words, the book is essential for today’s situation in the world. Now intellectual centers are demanded to work persistently to supply politics with knowledge. It is actually very important to keep on working on the problem. “We must take up the issue of Russia in the context of the universal globalization, we are challenged with poverty and ecological disaster.”
The ex-president of the Soviet Union also touched upon the topic of the day, the Iraqi crisis. Mikhail Gorbachev urged Saddam Hussein to quit the post. He said that there was only one way out to avoid a war in Iraq: Saddam Hussein must quit the post.
At that, Mikhail Gorbachev added that Saddam’s resignation would “clear the way to changes, to new political leadership of the country, which will cancel military operations in the region.” The ex-president of the Soviet Union said at the press-conference: “If Saddam Hussein does so, he can be pardoned for what he had done with the country over the years of his rule.” Mikhail Gorbachev cited two historical instances of himself and of Russia’s last tsar, Nicolas II. As for US’s position on the Iraqi problem, Gorbachev said that in the present-day situation it was unlikely that “the USA will go back on its words and fall back.” He added that position supported by Russia, Germany and France concerning the Iraqi problem was right. Gorbachev said: “We have no facts saying that we must use force. But at the same time, it’s necessary to make for such conditions so that no threat to the world could originate from the territory of Iraq.” Well, Mr. Gorbachev, congratulations on you successful start. The only thing left to do is to persuade electorate to vote for the trio consisting of Gorbachev-Titov-Yakovlev.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://politics.pravda.ru/politics/2003/1/6/11/8343_Gorbachev.html
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