Boris Johnson said the Kremlin is ‘undoing Gorbachev’s good work’ with the war in Ukraine as he paid tribute to the former Soviet leader, who died on Tuesday.
Mikhail Gorbachev is known for ending the Cold War without bloodshed, but could not prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Speaking outside a police station in Lewisham, south-east London, the Prime Minister said: “Mikhail Gorbachev is one of those people who changed the world and unquestionably changed it for the better. When you look at what he did to make Europe whole, free, to give freedom to the countries of the former Soviet Union – it was something quite extraordinary.
“And of course, Mikhail Gorbachev is one of those people who has triggered a change, a series of changes, which he may not have anticipated.
“Maybe he paid his own political price for it, but when history is written he will be, I think, one of the authors of fantastic change for the better in the world.
“And what worries me today is that the current leadership in Moscow is intent on undoing the good of Mikhail Gorbachev, and is determined to attempt revenge, attempt revenge, to recreate this empire. Soviet Union, and you see that in Ukraine – it’s tragedy, something that Mikhail Gorbachev would have thought absolutely unthinkable, unjustified.”