The Kremlin has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the funeral of the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev.
Mikhail Gorbachev died on Tuesday after a long illness. He lived to be 91 years old.
“Gorby,” as he was often called, was the last head of state of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. He was awarded the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the Cold War.
He tried to create a more open and democratic Soviet Union, but it ended with the collapse of the union.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the funeral on Saturday. This must be due to challenges with the schedule, according to the Kremlin.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Thursday that Putin showed his respect for the late leader Thursday morning, laying a wreath at Moscow’s Central Hospital, where Gorbachev died on Tuesday.
– Unfortunately, the president’s schedule does not allow him to do this on September 3, so he decided to do it today, says Peskov.
He added that the funeral on Saturday will witness official funeral elements, including the guard of honor. The state is also contributing to planning the funeral, according to the spokesperson.
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Putin said on Wednesday that Gorbachev had “A great influence on world history.”
– He led our country through a period of complex and dramatic changes, major foreign policy and economic and social challenges, says Putin.
At the same time, the relationship of the old Russian president and Gorbachev was difficult. Putin has several times lamented the collapse of the Soviet Union and called it “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” but he did not specifically criticize Gorbachev.
While mention of “Gorbi” after his death was varied in Russia, Western leaders praised him almost unanimously. as well as in Norway.
Mikhail Gorbachev changed the world. It has opened up the possibilities for de-escalation and a whole new world order, Foreign Minister Anniken Heitfeldt told VG after the death became known.
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