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Gorbachev's message to conference "25 Years since the Collapse of Communist Dictatorships in Eastern Europe: Looking Back, Looking Forward"

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Former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev suggested on Thursday, in a message conveyed to the international conference "25 Years since the Collapse of Communist Dictatorships in Eastern Europe: Looking Back, Looking Forward" taking place in Bucharest and which gathers former heads of state from Central and Eastern Europe, a return to the basic tenets of the new thinking offered to the world more than twenty-five years ago. 

Gorbachev also referred to the conflict in Ukraine, which he considers to cause "a serious and dangerous deterioration of relations between Russia and the West". 

"We already hear talk of a new Cold War. This situation requires a sober and balanced view of the developments and cooperation between all the leading political forces in the world. I would suggest that we return to the basic tenets of the new thinking offered to the world more than twenty-five years ago. We should try to start a dialogue based on the understanding that we have a common future and that rebuilding trust would be an uphill task, but we have to take this path. For many centuries, the Europeans have repeatedly proved their ability to overcome crisis and progress to a new stage, we've proved it twenty-five years ago as well, when history accelerated its progress. It was a major test of the maturity and wisdom of European peoples and leaders," Mikhail Gorbachev said in the message presented to the Bucharest conference organized by the Romanian Foundation for Democracy established by former President of Romania Emil Constantinescu. 

Through the voice of his advisor, Alexander Likhotal, PhD, Professor, President of Green Cross International Geneva, Mikhail Gorbachev said that the events of 25 years ago "opened unprecedented opportunities for Europe, they gave a chance to create a new Europe" and recalled that in November 1990, the leaders of European countries, the United States and Canada signed a document that was titled accordingly: the Charter for a New Europe. 

"At the same time, we have to admit that we failed to really make good use of the opportunities provided to us. Europe has still to address its key challenges: laying solid foundations for peace, creating a new security architecture covering the entire continent. Instead, we saw NATO's expansion to the east, promises given at the end of the Cold War were forgotten, the Paris Charter was no longer even mentioned, all these created obstacles to build a common Europe, new dividing lines emerged in place of the cold ones, Europe saw wars and blood spilling," was the message of Gorbachev, who apologized in the beginning for being unable "to join the participants in this important and timely forum" because of health issues. 

The message of King Mihai I was presented during Thursday's opening session of the two-day international conference held at the Palace of Parliament; some of the speakers to address the audience were as follows: former President of Romania Emil Constantinescu; former President of Poland Lech Walesa; former President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pottering; former President of the Republic Moldova Petru Lucinschi; former President of Albania Sali Berisha; former President of Serbia Boris Tadic; and former President of Ukraine Viktor Yushcenko.

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