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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gorbachev Scolds Putin Over Economy

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Monday scolded the Kremlin for not taking advantage of the “fertile years” when oil prices were on the rise to modernize the country’s economy.

“Putin inherited a very difficult country facing disintegration and destruction,” Gorbachev told the BBC. “He regained stability, but later I think a number of opportunities were missed when this ‘rain of dollars’ came down on our country. We failed to solve the main issue — not to put too much stake into the raw materials industry but to carry out modernization and achieve new technologies.”

Gorbachev called for active democratic changes, calling the United Russia party a “bad copy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.”

“Of course we should follow the path of democratic changes,” he said. “The Americans, who have been building their democracy for 200 years on, want us to build ours in 200 days. We will never become friends this way. Though we should.”