Gorbachev Too Ill to Come for Honorary Citizenship to Kosice

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Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. (Photo by TASR/AP)

Kosice, May 10 (TASR) – Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev won’t be able to come to Kosice any time soon to assume its honorary citizenship, as doctors have recommended that he shouldn’t travel by plane, TASR learnt on Tuesday.

Gorbachev, 85, announced this in a letter to former Slovak president Rudolf Schuster.

Kosice granted honorary citizenship to Gorbachev for “promoting the ideas of freedom and democracy and for reform decisions that led to political and social changes”. His father was wounded as a soldier in WWII near Kosice in 1944. The process of granting honorary citizenship to Gorbachev was initiated by Schuster, a former Slovak president (1999-2004) who earlier served as Kosice mayor (1983-86 and 1994-99).

Gorbachev, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate from 1990, thanked the people of Kosice in the letter for awarding him honorary citizenship. He expressed his hope and desire to come to Kosice as a place that “has become close to me and my family”.

Kosice city council bestowed honorary citizenship on Gorbachev on March 14. Meanwhile, Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice on May 6 decided to grant him an honoris causa doctorate in political science.