Back to website

Gorbachev on terrorism - September 2004

The threat posed by international terrorism should not be used by world leaders to justify restrictions on liberty and democracy Mikhail Gorbachev has told the Today Programme.

The former Soviet President spoke to Today's James Naughtie during a visit to London to promote a new initiative by non-governmental organisations which aims to provide honesty, transparency and accountability in the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Gorbachev called for stronger security measures to prevent WMD falling into the hands of terrorists and for greater disarmament of such weapons.

He also re-iterated his opposition to the war in Iraq. The justification for military action presented by the US and Britain had amounted to "misinformation" he said.

Mr Gorbachev also expressed concern at proposals by Russian President Vladimir Putin to centralise more power from the regions to the Kremlin in the wake of the Beslan hostage massacre. He added that neither Mr Putin or the Russian people would be prepared to allow Chechnya to become an independent country.

Listen to the Today Programme Interview