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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gorbachev Decries Russia's Economy

FRANKFURT -- Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev said Monday that economic conditions in Russia are a shambles because ties among the former states of the union have collapsed.

"Russia is like a whore banished to the street," Gorbachev told 600 people gathered for a forum on economic cooperation and political ties in Europe.

"What do we accomplish when the Berlin Wall is raised at new locations?" he said, complaining that Western nations are pushing for closer ties to Ukraine and Belarus, who are abandoning old connections with Russia.

Gorbachev charged that with the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia was at the mercy of the West as a source for raw materials. For such things as oil and natural gas, the Russians must accept products manufactured in the West, and their own production facilities are struggling to survive, he said.

He called it a "bitter truth" that the people of the former Soviet Union were given freedom as a present, but the economic ties that once held them together have been severed.