Gorbachev Defends Perestroika
Gorbachev also took pains to defend Perestroika, which he said was the right path and would have succeeded better had it not been interrupted. "We brought the country to the point where there can be no turning back. We ended the cold war working together, working with the nations of the world, particularly the United States. We ended the division of Europe. All conflicts other than [those in the] Middle East were settled. "Perestroika won, but it was broken off; it was interrupted. It changed the situation for the worse, in my country. People thought they could solve every problem and in three or four years there would be paradise. Instead, they used shock therapy and cowboy methods. Russia was floored by other economies. It became uncompetitive as a result of those reckless steps. But you cannot blame Perestroika for that. Perestroika was interrupted."Gorbachev said that both Russia and the Unites States are facing an important decision about how they will approach the world, either through trust or confrontation. "Right now is the moment when Russia and America should make their choices. It is as important a moment as that of the mid-80s."He said that he and U.S. President Ronald Reagan succeeded despite initial antipathy in building bridges and forging disarmament pacts. "Some of these bridges need repair and renovation and there is a need to build new bridges. Your meeting here is one of these new bridges. When we build bridges they will work for the whole world." He added, "We should think what we can do for education and technology in a global world. National interests and corporate interests should not have primacy. But the interests of all mankindsaving the environment and preventing warare the priorities." "If we ignore these challenges, this will only end badly and it is our children and grandchildren who will find it impossible to bear. Let us think not just about maximizing profits, but about future generations." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.