Gorbachev nominates Google founder for award

11th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has announced nominees for a new prize for people who changed the world, including Google founder Sergey Brin, U2 singer Bono and CNN founder Ted Turner.

At a ceremony at the British ambassador's residence in Moscow late Thursday, Gorbachev said the nominees for the Gorbachev Awards "had shown themselves to be people capable of changing the world."

The only nominee of Russian origin out of nine was Brin, who is originally from Moscow but emigrated as a child to the United States, where he studied computer science and co-founded the popular search engine.

Gorbachev's daughter Irina Virganskaya, who is vice-president of her father's Gorbachev Foundation, said the prize was intended for people who did not fall under the criteria of other awards, but who had built bridges between politics and civil society.

"They manage to create dialogue between religious groups, countries, between politicians and experts and civil society," she said.

The prize categories are named after Gorbachev's buzz words of perestroika (restructuring), glasnost (openness) and uskoreniye (speeding up), and reward social, cultural and scientific and technological achievements respectively.

The winners will be announced at a gala concert for Gorbachev's 80th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall in Britain on March 30, which will be hosted by Sharon Stone and will include performances by singers Bryan Ferry and Paul Anka.

Gorbachev, who turned 80 on March 2, said Thursday that the events were organised by his daughter and her husband and that he would have preferred to "sit it out in a quiet corner."

© 2011 AFP

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