Perestroika 20th Anniversary
Oct 21, 2005
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International dignitaries commemorated the 20th anniversary of “perestroika” in the USSR with a symposium and gala hosted by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The dinner featured steak and caviar and was .. Read More
International dignitaries commemorated the 20th anniversary of “perestroika” in the USSR with a symposium and gala hosted by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The dinner featured steak and caviar and was moderated by Mr. Gittins.
President Gorbachev discussed the fall of communism, the rise of democratic governments in Eastern Europe, and the end of the nuclear arms race between the United States and Russia. He also reflected on the current state of world affairs and said “America has a right to be a leader... realized through partnership, not domination” as the sole superpower.
Former President Clinton praised President Gorbachev for his engineering of perestroika and making the world a better place with new openness and a sense of freedom. He also joked about the Grammy award they won together in 2004 for their recording with actress Sophia Loren of a version of “Peter and the Wolf” for charity. Following his remarks, an excerpt from the documentary Gorbachev’s Revolution was shown.
After the video presentation, General Colin Powell, former National Security Advisor during the last two years of the Reagan Administration, spoke about the end of the Cold War. He thanked President Gorbachev and said that the former Russian leader would go down as a man of great vision. Ted Turner, founder of Cable News Network (CNN), along with 1976 Nobel Laureate Betty Williams, also paid tribute to the work of the former Soviet president.
Following the tributes, Mr. Portnow presented President Gorbachev with his Grammy award. Andrei Gavrilov, the first Soviet artist to be granted permission to stay in the West without having to file for political asylum, concluded the dinner with a piano performance.
President Gorbachev’s remarks were in Russian with English translation.