Moscow, Aug 31 (SocialNews.XYZ) World leaders were quick to pay rich tributes to the late Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as the man who ended the Cold War and the arms race, as a statesman who stood at the pivotal turning point in world history.
He died on Tuesday due to a long illness at a hospital on Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his "deep sympathies" over Gorbachev's death, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies.
Peskov said Putin, a former KGB agent who had an ambiguous relationship with Gorbachev, will send a telegram of condolences to the late leader's family and friends on Wednesday morning.
UN chief Antonio Guterres praised Gorbachev as "a one-of-a-kind statesman who changed the course of history" and "did more than any other individual to bring about the peaceful end of the Cold War".
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen hailed Gorbachev as a "trusted and respected leader" who "opened the way for a free Europe".
His "crucial role" in bringing down the Iron Curtain, which symbolised the division of the world into communist and capitalist blocs, and ending the Cold War left a legacy "we will not forget", she wrote on Twitter.
French President Emmanuel Macron described Gorbachev as a "man of peace" on Twitter early Wednesday, saying he "opened a path of liberty for Russians. His commitment to peace in Europe changed our shared history".
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he "always admired the courage and integrity" Gorbachev showed to bring the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion.
"In a time of Putin's aggression in Ukraine, his tireless commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example to us all," he said in a Twitter post, referring to Moscow's ongoing offensive in its former Soviet neighbour.
US President Joe Biden praised the former Soviet leader as a "man of remarkable vision."
Gorbachev had worked to bring about democratic reforms in the Soviet Union after decades of brutal political repression, Biden said in a White House statement issued late on Tuesday.
"These were the acts of a rare leader, one with the imagination to see that a different future was possible and the courage to risk his entire career to achieve it. The result was a safer world and greater freedom for millions of people," he said.