Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said in an interview with the German Bild newspaper on Friday that media are fueling growing contradictions between the major world powers, creating the impression that a war is looming.
Gorbachev says the current situation on the international arena is showing all signs of a new Cold War and an ongoing arms race.
“The language of politicians and the top-level military personnel is becoming increasingly militant. Military doctrines are formulated increasingly harshly. The mass media pick up on all of this and add fuel to the fire. The relationship between the big powers continues to worsen. This creates the impression that the world is preparing for a war. So all the indications of a Cold War are there,” Gorbachev told the German Bild newspaper on Friday.
He pointed out that while in the second half of the 1980s, the USSR and the United States reached a number of important agreements and started reducing their nuclear arsenals, the situation changed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, with Russia’s once devoted allies now standing in opposition to Moscow, and imposing anti-Russia sanctions.
Gorbachev stressed that an arms race is already underway.
“It is not merely imminent. In some places, it is already in full swing. Troops are being moved into Europe, including heavy equipment such as tanks and armoured cars. It was not so long ago that NATO troops and Russian troops were stationed quite far away from each other. They now stand nose-to-nose,” the former Soviet leader told Bild.
Last week, Gorbachev said at a meeting with lawmakers of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Moscow that there was a need to return to the idea of a “common European home.”
He stressed that in the nuclear age a war cannot be used as a political tool.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was in Moscow on a two-day visit. The parties discussed bilateral relations and a number of important issues on the international agenda, including the recent developments in Syria. Following the talks a number of US analysts told Sputnik that Tillerson’s visit had failed to ease tensions between Moscow and Washington.