Lech Walesa: Gorbachev “forced” to play a positive role

Lech Walesa: Gorbachev “forced” to play a positive role

Lech Walesa: Gorbachev &laquo ;forcedly» played a positive role

Lech Walesa (archive photo)   Lech Walesa: Gorbachev «forced» played a positive role

Polish ex-president expressed doubts about the motives of the former Soviet leader in his desire to destroy the «iron curtain»

Former Polish President Lech Walesa said on Thursday that Mikhail Gorbachev played a positive role in ending the Cold War, but that he did it “under compulsion” as the communist system was already collapsing.

Gorbachev died on Tuesday in Moscow hospital at the age of 91. In the West, he was mourned as an outstanding statesman who helped bring down the Iron Curtain, but in Russia his death was cool.

Over the course of six years, from 1985 to 1991, Gorbachev negotiated disarmament treaties with the United States and established partnerships with Western powers.

Under his rule, the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe since World War II was removed , and German reunification took place.

Walesa, leader of the Solidarity trade union, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize “for the non-violent struggle for free trade unions and human rights” in the 1980s and the first freely elected president of Poland since the Second World War II, said that Gorbachev's influence was positive, but the motives for his actions are questionable.

“Of course, we must assess him positively, he played a positive role, but he did it by force,” Walesa told the agency Reuters. “It's not that he was ready to do it, or that he wanted to do it, but that the situation forced him.”

“Communism was disintegrating, there were more and more problems with it, and he was looking for a way to save communism. And, frankly, I don’t know how sincere he was with us, because he knew that the USSR could not be saved,” concluded Lech Walesa.