Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that civilization could be on the brink of destruction after the US withdrew from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty he signed alongside Ronald Reagan in 1987.
Speaking about the rubbishing of the agreement on August 2 that Mike Pompeo said occurred when ‘Russia failed to return to full and verified compliance through the destruction of its noncompliant missile system’, Gorbachev described it as ‘first steps towards destruction’.
He warned in an interview with CNN: ‘Speakers and politicians, people understand that this, the New Cold War, must not be allowed. This might turn out to be a hot war that could mean the destruction of our entire civilization. This must not be allowed.’
The 88-year-old said that while ‘all the agreements that are there are preserved and not destroyed’ after the US withdrew, ‘If this path goes further, then everything is possible. This must not be allowed.’
Mikhail Gorbachev said people understand ‘the New Cold War, must not be allowed’ as it ‘might turn out to be a hot war’ prompting the ‘destruction of our entire civilization’
Former president warned ‘if this path goes further, then everything is possible’ after on August 2 the US withdrew from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Pictured Trump (R) meets Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) on the first day of the G20 summit in Osaka June 28, 2019
Comparing current events to his time as Soviet leader in 1986 during the nuclear disaster depicted in the award-winning HBO series, Chernobyl, he said the difference is that at the time he didn’t know the extent of what was going on.
Speaking about the series he said he hasn’t seen but ‘I know in detail’, he said: ‘The most important thing I will say that as a result we have studied all the reasons [for the disaster]. All these conclusions were given to all other countries. These findings are a lesson to everyone.
‘They say, ‘Why you were silent for several days?’ But I say it was exactly like I said before, not the other way around. We did not understand what had happened.’
He said ‘this should be avoided’ but there is good news.
‘It’s good that already all over the world there is a conversation and people are talking, people are reacting, and this is the most important thing,’ he continued.
Discussing the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan 30 years ago in 1989 and the collapse of the USSR, Gorbachev said it’s something the US can learned from.
Gorbachev’s biggest achievement was the arms race treaty he signed that limited the use of medium-range missiles, both conventional and nuclear, and was credited with helping to bring an end to the Cold War.
Mikhail Gorbachev said the US withdrawing from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty he signed in 1987 were ‘the first steps towards destruction’
Gorbachev is pictured with President George H. W. Bush (L) in Moscow July 31, 1991. He said Thursday that ‘all the agreements’ of the treaty ‘are preserved and not destroyed’
Before this August, both sides had signaled their intention to pull out of the Cold War-era missile pact for months, trading accusations of breaking the terms of the deal.
Russia’s foreign ministry says there is no longer enough time left to draft a new nuclear arms treaty with the US before the only one left in existence expires.
Foreign ministry official Vladimir Leontyev raised fears of a new Cold War arms race between the two world powers on Friday when he said it will not be possible to replace the New START treaty before it lapses in 2021.
New START, which limits the number of large-scale nukes that Russia and the US can deploy, is the only nuclear pact left between the two powers.
Trump has said he wants to negotiate a new treaty with Russia, and Putin has also signaled his desire to form a new pact – but no summit has been scheduled.
Gorbachev spoke in the interview on Thursday as President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving Day, and announced peace talks with the Taliban had restarted.
‘They must be withdrawn. That is the main lesson,’ Gorbachev advised about troops. ‘You know, it’s like a match. The match is lit, a fire spreads. And these clashes, when the leading, largest countries in this conflict become ever more involved, they are dangerous for all nations.’
Comparing it to his time as Soviet leader in 1989 during the nuclear disaster depicted in Chernobyl he said people asked why he was silent for several days. Gorbachev, 88, explained: ‘We did not understand what had happened’
Gorbachev was interviewed on the day that Trump visited troops in Afghanistan and said peace talks with the Taliban had resumed. He advised about troops: ‘They must be withdrawn. That is the main lesson’