Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on the Soviet coup, made in an interview held in London on Wednesday 21st August 1991.
[Mr Major was asked whether it was good news that the coup had failed].
I think it is very good news, yes. The prospect of what might have happened if this coup had succeeded was almost unthinkable. It would have changed the whole balance of power between the world; it would have changed the influence; it would have changed the improving relationship that there has been between East and West for the last decade or so; and it would have been an immense setback for all of us. It is a very good night indeed; a very good night for democracy.
[Mr Major was asked whether the attempted coup failed because it lacked support or because it was badly led].
In the medium-
[Mr Major was asked whether Mr Yeltsin had been over-
He might have been right. When I spoke to President Yeltsin then, there were tanks heading towards the Parliamentary Building; they stopped. For all he knew, they might not have stopped; they might have over-