Göran, former Swedish primeminister, meets Boris Jeltsin


Former Swedish prime minister Göran Persson wrote a book (or his memoirs I guess you can say) called “Min väg, mina val” (my road, my choices). The book was realesed some time after the right won the last election and he resigned as leader for the Swedish socialist partie.

The book contains a funny passage where he meets the Russian president Boris Jeltsin (free translation :P):

Göran Persson 5 years old

Göran, older but kind of looks the same


Jeltsin was “stimulated” and very loud. He demanded I build a pipeline for gas through Sweden, I forcefully said no. He then rose from his chair, made his voice even louder and made clear what the deal was. I rose up as well and said, “In Sweden I’m in charge!”.

I could see the spark in his eye, he thought that was funny. He grabbed my collar and screamed at me that we should build pipelines. I put my hands on his shoulders and repeat that this is none of his business. We keep standing like that screaming at each other until we have to go meet the delegations in the meeting hall at Rotundan Rosenbad.

When we arrive Jeltsin is tired again. He seems to think he is home, and greets the Swedish delegation by welcoming them to Russia …

We then continue to the city hall where Jeltsin receives another treatment from his doctor. Fresh and lively he stands up and holds a speech where he says he is going to disarm the Russian nuclear arsenal with one third.

Chocked Russian associates with the Russian foreign minister Jevgenij Primakov had to quickly start denying this claim.

The thought crossed my mind that the man I had just met was sitting with his finger on the red button for a nuclear arsenal big enough to destroy the earth.

The book received lots of bad critique when it came out however I think it was quite a nice and often fun read. Göran Persson tells the story as he see it, nothing more nothing less and I think that is why it’s interesting.

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