Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1991 - Mr Major’s Comments on President Gorbachev

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments made regarding President Gorbachev on Tuesday 5th March 1991.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he felt reforms would continue under President Gorbachev].

PRIME MINISTER:

He clearly faces very great difficulties in carrying them forward but I was left in no doubt that he thinks they are desirable, that he wishes to carry them forward and that it is his intention to carry them forward. What I don’t know, of course, is how successful he will be in doing that.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked how he could support both President Gorbachev and independence for the Baltic states].

PRIME MINISTER:

We have supported the reforms in the Soviet Union which have been carried out under Mr Gorbachev’s leadership very strongly over the period of the last few years. Mr Gorbachev the reformer, we have supported, and Mr Gorbachev the reformer we will continue to support.

I made our disapproval of what happened in the Baltic States very clear indeed.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he was concerned about the Soviet’s economic policies].

PRIME MINISTER:

It is not so much the policies in force that we are concerned about; it is the policies that we wish to see put in force that are not yet off the ground. It is all very well setting our your aspiration for a market-based society but you actually need practical action to bring it about and that that is what we wish to see.