Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
August 31, 2022
Contact Info: 
Raymond Rodriguez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the passing of former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev:

"I join in mourning the passing of Mikhail Gorbachev, a transformational figure for his country and for the world.  As General Secretary and later President of the Soviet Union, Mr. Gorbachev sought to modernize his nation's economy and, simultaneously, establish a more open society.  He recognized that true freedom required both.  His dedication to peace, nuclear nonproliferation, and diplomacy helped bring an end to the Cold War and make the world safer.  During my time leading the U.S. Helsinki Commission, I met Mr. Gorbachev and appreciated his government’s decision to allow the release of numerous dissidents who had been imprisoned or exiled for decades and allow open discussion about past Soviet atrocities.  Moreover, I welcomed his permission for Soviet Jews to emigrate after years of holding these ‘refuseniks’ captive in a country they sought to leave.
“After the end of the Soviet Union, Mr. Gorbachev remained an outspoken advocate for peace throughout the remainder of his life, often criticizing those, including Vladimir Putin, who seemed to long for conflict or wished to ignite a new Cold War.  I extend my sincere condolences to all of Mr. Gorbachev's family and friends, and I pray that his memory will continue to guide his nation back toward the freedoms he worked to secure and the vision of peace he knew was possible for Russia and its neighbors."