The Cable

Gorbachev on Obama

Barack Obama did in fact deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, former prize winner and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev said in an exclusive interview with Radio Free Europe. “I won it unexpectedly and he won it unexpectedly,” Gorby told the U.S. government-funded outlet based in Prague. “America means a lot [to the world] and will continue ...

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LONDON - JUNE 06: Mikhail Gorbachev arrives at the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation Annual Fundraising Gala Dinner at Hampton Court on June 6, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Frantzesco Kangaris/Getty Images)

Barack Obama did in fact deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, former prize winner and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev said in an exclusive interview with Radio Free Europe.

“I won it unexpectedly and he won it unexpectedly,” Gorby told the U.S. government-funded outlet based in Prague. “America means a lot [to the world] and will continue to do so for a long time … That’s why [we have to] support a president of such stature, who gave his own country and the world such a strong push forward. And it’s already showing real effects. That’s honorable.”

The former leader also talks about the state of Russian democracy, the Russian opposition, and corruption in the Russian government. RFE characterizes Gorbachev’s role and reputiation:

Hugely popular abroad, Gorbachev has long been widely disliked at home for bringing about the end of communism. He remained active in politics, co-founding the Social Democratic Party. But when he ran for president in 1996, he won less than 1 percent of the vote.

Since Putin’s rise to power in 2000, Gorbachev has often been among the first to criticize new authoritarian measures in Russia, especially restrictions against the free press, independent politicians, and nongovernmental organizations. But he’s been a consistently ardent supporter of the man many believe responsible for the country’s direction: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Check out the video here:

Frantzesco Kangaris/Getty Image

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