Mikhail Gorbachev fears the world is heading for another war
The 85-year-old called on global powers to ensure reversing the “ruinous” global arms race becomes a “top priority”.
Mr Gorbachev, who oversaw events in the run-up to the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, went on to urge the newly-elected US President to work closely with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to reduce nuclear weapon stockpiles worldwide
In an article published in Time Magazine, he wrote: “No problem is more urgent today than the militarisation of politics and the new arms race. "The current situation is too dangerous.”
While Mr Gorbachev has called on the US and Russia to come together in this fight, he described the attitude of politicians and military leaders as “increasingly belligerent” and defence doctrines as “more dangerous”.
In his article, Mr Gorbachev reflected on efforts in the late 1980s to reduce the worldwide nuclear threat, saying that today, 80 per cent of the nuclear weapons accumulated during the Cold War years had been decommissioned and destroyed without diminishing any country’s national security.
May meets Trump: Historic first meeting in pictures
Fri, January 27, 2017
The two leaders will spend about an hour in face-to-face talks in the Oval Office, where President Trump has restored a bust of Winston Churchill removed by predecessor Barack Obama.
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Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the 2017
Gorbachev oversaw events in the run-up to the end of the Cold War
The current situation is too dangerous
Mr Gorbachev’s concerns come at a time of increasing tensions between Russia and the West following the country’s intervention in Syria and the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine.
Tensions are also high in the wake of allegations surrounding Russian interference in the US Presidential elections.
His comments were followed by reports of a scheduled telephone call on Saturday between presidents Trump and Putin.
Putin is expected to speak to US President Donald Trump on Saturday
The call would be the crucial first step towards a thaw in relations between the Kremlin and White House, which were strained under the Obama administration.
Any dialogue between the two men will also come under heavy scrutiny amid allegations by US intelligence agencies of Russia’s attempts to influence the recent elections in Trump’s favour.
Trump’s recent comments also reflect the possibility of a review of the sanctions imposed on Russia after the country annexed Crimea from the Ukraine in 2014, and increased its support for rebels in the east of the country.