Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

#5 - JRL 8447 - JRL Home
Gorbachev Says Politicians Squandered Chance To Create New World Order

MOSCOW. Nov 9 (Interfax) - Politicians squandered the chance to create a new world order offered by Germany's reunification, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev told Interfax on Tuesday.

"At that time the world had a chance to build a new world order and quite a few people envisioned this kind of the future. Just read the speeches at the Paris summit late in November 1990. Everybody spoke of a new world order, an all-European architecture of security etc. But that chance was not used," he said.

The disintegration of the Soviet Union was the chief reason why these intentions did not materialize, Gorbachev said.

"The Union quitting the world arena changed the situation in a cardinal way. That country was a pillar of the world order. If we had not taken the Union apart, for no one else could have done it, then the situation would have developed in a different way. Russian leaders got carried away by their own affairs and had other things to think of," he said.

Gorbachev disagrees with those who reproach the Western countries that they have gone back on their promises not to expand NATO eastward because, he thinks, the collapse of the USSR contributed to this.

"At the time of Germany's reunification numerous statements were made, in particular by U.S. leaders, that NATO did not intend to expand eastward. This was, indeed, not on the agenda. But first the Warsaw Pact and then the Union disintegrated and the situation changed in a radical way," he said.

At that time statements on non-expansion of NATO could not be recorded in documents, Gorbachev believes.