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02 / 06 / 2004
Mikhail Gorbachev: “Our goal is not to create an authoritarian regime, but sometimes authoritarianism needs to be used”

In the presentation of the Dialogue “Energy and Sustainable Development” the president of Green Cross International, Mikhail Gorbachev appeared to understand the occasional use of authoritarian methods of Putin´s government, although he stated that Russia has opted for freedom, democracy, and human rights.

“Our problem is that we need to build a democracy. I always tell the United States that we want a democracy that is better than theirs, although it isn’t easy. We have spent 270 years under Mongolian rule, 200 years more of feudalism under the communist regime, and for this, it is hard for us to think about a democratic country now. The United States claims that we can build a democracy in two-hundred days when it took them two-hundred years.” Gorbachev added that 80% of Russian citizens want to live in a free democratic country and that their country has already set out on this path.

Gorbachev insisted on the importance of the general public’s actions in the face of changing the relations between politics and power and creating a new world order where ethics and business are compatible. He stated, “Life shows us that business and politics do not solve problems and have done everything within their reach to silence the public. To justify their actions, people in power have created the idea that ethics and business are not compatible. But now, this triangular relationship between power, business, and the general public is changing because in a globalized world, politics can not obtain any result without ethics.”

In response to a question posed by someone from Polish television about what figures like Gorbachev can do in regards to the topic of terrorism, he responded that terrorism can not be justified in any way and that the most important thing is to “find out who the centers that finance terrorism belong to.” But, he added, that it is equally or more important to solve the problem of poverty in the world, given that the conditions of poverty can lead to terrorism. “We have to intervene among those who suffer from hunger or live on two dollars daily, because they are the ones who are willing to side with the devil; dying for them is almost a merit. Terrorists have a special psyche, formed on the basis of a type of ideological or religious fundamentalism.”