West 'Wasted 20 Years' After Berlin Wall Fell: Gorbachev
Former Soviet states should unite, he suggests
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 13, 2009 3:24 PM CDT
Gorbachev says the main economic bloc of the former Soviet Union should create a free trade region.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Europe has squandered two decades of potential cooperation since the Berlin Wall fell, Mikhail Gorbachev says. At a Moscow event sponsored by his foundation, the former Soviet leader criticized Western leaders who viewed the 1989 event as their victory over Eastern Europe, rather than an opportunity for common good, Reuters reports.

“We have wasted the last 20 years,” Gorbachev, 78, said. “We have not done everything we should have done. It’s a great pity.” He dismissed the notion that Russia’s current leaders have imperialist intentions: “Russia doesn’t want to go to war with anyone.” Unpopular for allowing the Soviet collapse, Gorbachev has little political sway today—but says he plans to form a new party to challenge United Russia’s electoral monopoly.