In what appears to be the start of a new and different Cold War, increasing tensions between the United States and Russia concerning Syria has brought the world to a dangerous point in history, Mikhail Gorbachev warned.
On Monday, the former Soviet leader’s intervention came amid a collapse in East-West relations over the war in Syria that has seen the Kremlin openly threaten to shoot down Western aircraft, drawing comparisons with the worst crises of the Cold War, the Telegraph UK reported.
“I think the world has reached a dangerous point,” Gorbachev, who is now 85, told state news agency RIA Novosti.
Secretary of State John Kerry called on Russia and the Syrian government to be investigated for war crimes over the Aleppo campaign, a call that was echoed by France’s foreign minister, the UK Telegraph stated.
Russia in response, has accused the US of “unfriendly” actions, and deployed nuclear-capable missiles to its Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, and warned that it would shoot down Western aircraft if the US launched airstrikes against pro-government targets in Syria.
“It is necessary to return to the main priorities. These are nuclear disarmament, the fight against terrorism, the prevention of an environmental disaster,” said Gorbachev. “Compared to these challenges, all the rest slips into the background.”
Mikhail Gorbachev was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991 when the Cold War that began in 1947, officially ended.
Gorbachev was largely hailed in the West for his ‘new thinking’ in foreign affairs. During his tenure, he sought to improve relations and trade with the West by reducing Cold War tensions. He established close relationships with several Western leaders, such as West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher—who remarked, “I like Mr. Gorbachev… we can do business together.”
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