Gorbachev officially barred from Ukraine over Crimea comments
The former Soviet leader has been forbidden from entering Ukraine, following an interview with the Sunday Times in which he supported Crimea’s secession.
“For the public support of Crimea’s annexation, Mikhail Gorbachev has been banned from entering Ukraine for five years,” said a statement on the official Twitter feed of Ukraine’s security agency SBU, ending several days of public debate about the move.
When questioned about the decision, 85-year-old Gorbachev refused to make a statement, saying: “It’s up to the journalists to comment” on what has happened. Earlier this week, Gorbachev said he “doesn’t visit Ukraine, and has no plans to do so,” and insisted he “will not be dragged down into political squabbles.”
“I’m always with the free will of the people and most in Crimea wanted to be reunited with Russia,” Gorbachev told the Sunday Times over the weekend, in reference to the events of April 2014, when its population had a referendum and voted to join Russia.
While Gorbachev was generally critical of Vladimir Putin during the lengthy interview, he said he would have also accepted Crimea into Russia if he had been in the Kremlin at the time.
freedom of speech as long as we agree with the speech..