Mikhail Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War, changed Russian, European and world history, Italy's premier Mario Draghi wrote in a tribute to the former Soviet leader, who died on Tuesday aged 91.
"He changed the course of recent history in Russia, Europe and the world. After a life in the Communist Party, he showed courage and determination in ending the experience of the Soviet Union," Draghi stated.
"He tried to build a new era of transparency, rights and freedom. His desire for peace, his opposition to an Imperialist vision of Russia won him the Nobel Prize," Draghi's statement continued.
Gorbachev's message "is more relevant than ever amid the tragedy of Russia's (six-month-old) invasion of Ukraine," the statement ended.