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Former Soviet President Praises Barbara Bush For Role In Cold War Thaw

Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev has said Barbara Bush built trust and friendship.

United States President George H.W. Bush and President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, pose for a group photo with their wives Barbara Bush and Raisa Gorbacheva in May 1990. Credit: Dennis Brack / Pool via CNP /ABACAPRESS.COM

Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev has said Barbara Bush built trust and friendship as the US built closer relations with its Cold War adversary.

The former US first lady and literacy campaigner has died at the age of 92.

Mr Gorbachev, whose last years in office overlapped the Bush presidency, praised Mrs Bush as warm and astute.

In a statement of condolence to the Bush family, Mr Gorbachev said: "I am deeply saddened by the death of Barbara, and on this day I remember everything was connected with us, our numerous meetings.

"Barbara did a lot to build trust and friendship between us.”

"She immediately developed a warm relationship with Raisa, they communicated easily and at ease."

Mrs Bush was the matriarchal figure of a political dynasty - the wife of former US presidents George H.W. Bush and mother of George W Bush.

She had been married to George H.W. Bush for 73 years and, according to Jean Becker, chief of staff at the former president's office in Houston, he was at his her side when she died and had been holding her hand all day.

Raisa Gorbacheva died in 1999.