Mikhail Gorbachev Criticizes US Foreign Policy, Warns Of
In declarations to the Argentine daily Pagina 12, the former USSR leader denounced "the end of the democracy" in the United States
For the leader of the Russian Social-Democrats, the US-led invasion of Iraq was a "serious political mistake", as on his opinion, there were not conclusive reasons to attack Saddam Hussein's regime. The last USSR President also warned about the consequences of the unilateral US action. "They did whatever they wanted, and this is a worrying precedent," said Gorbachev.
"It was possible to tolerate such an action in Afghanistan, where the situation was more clear; however, in Iraq, the US were deploying its military by the moment UN inspectors started working in the field", complained Gorbachev in a long interview published on Monday in the Argentine press. "They have divided the UN Security Council and the world, disregarding the global public opinion. This is no longer a democracy."
According to Gorbachev, the war in Iraq had much more to do with US's oil needs, than with political reasons. "They are worried about the energy and took advantage of the existence of a hated leader; however, Saddam is not a fool: he learned the lessons of the Gulf War and I do not think he held mass destruction weaponry in Iraq," concluded Gorbachev.
The interview, made at Gorbachev's offices in Moscow, also included an extensive dialogue about Russian internal politics. Gorbachev, the leader of the Russian Social Democrats, backed Putin's last decisions, both on internal and foreign affairs and talked about the role of Russia in the world.
"Russia should keep on rising its voice to world's superpower (USA), which is now alone and has failed politically, diplomatically and morally," he explained. "The United States should understand that the world is not going to do whatever they want; therefore, Russia and its leadership have to resist to the end," said Gorbachev.
Regarding the relations between Russia and the European Union, Gorbachev did not support the creation of a new Moscow-Berlin-Paris axis. Eventually, this could destroy the established global institutions, such as the United Nations, the European Union and the NATO. "Russia is virtually an associated member of the NATO and should keep that position; we have to do the same with the European Union."
Gorbachev believes that if Russia enters the European Union, it could muddle such an organism. Therefore, he will promote an association to the EU to link Russia to the West, but not a full integration. "Today, Russia has energetic responsibilities with the EU and it is linked by our culture and tourism."
The former USSR leader believes Russia is not yet like a Western country, but
could be in the future. "It is a long process", he said. "Russia
is part of the European culture and surely, this new cooperation with France
and Germany will lead to a closer collaboration in the near future. Without
Russia, Europe would not exist."