Reagan and Gorbachev together in 1992 . Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons.

Prague, Aug 31 (CTK) – Czech politicians have hailed former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, who died in Moscow late on Tuesday aged 91, as one of the key figures of the 20th century who contributed to the collapse of communism.

Gorbachev was inspired by the Prague Spring communist reform movement from 1968. He gave the hope of freedom to people in the Soviet Union, said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates).

Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) recalled that Gorbachev’s policies contributed to the end of communism in eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“Mikhail Gorbachev, the first and last president of the Soviet Union, has died. Inspired by the Prague Spring, he gave the Soviet Union inhabitants the hope of freedom, the observance of fundamental human rights and a better future,” Lipavsky wrote on Twitter.

Gorbachev was a significant personality of the second half of the 20th century, Fiala added.

Czech Senate chairman Milos Vystrcil (ODS) wrote on Twitter that Gorbachev “really contributed to the fall of communism and the disintegration of the Soviet Union.”

Defence Minister Jana Cernochova (ODS) said Gorbachev was not only a symbol of the end of the Cold War but also its active protagonist.

“Some found his reforms radical, others found them too mild. This is also why his political career was not long,” wrote Cernochova. Despite this, Gorbachev achieved the impossible and he will forever remain a great personality of the 20th century, she added.

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