In this photo taken Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 photo former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev speaks to the Associated Press during an interview at his foundation's headquarters in Moscow, Russia. Gorbachev said the West has wasted a chance to build a safer world after the Cold War while the U.S. has gloated at the Soviet Union's demise. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) (AP)

To avoid World War III, Gorbachev says all "nuclear weapons must be destroyed"

"As long as weapons of mass destruction exist, primarily nuclear weapons, the danger is colossal."


Jake Johnson
November 5, 2019 9:00AM (UTC)
This article originally appeared at Common Dreams. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned Monday that heightened nuclear tensions between Russia and the West have dramatically increased the threat of another catastrophic global conflict.

"As long as weapons of mass destruction exist, primarily nuclear weapons, the danger is colossal," Gorbachev said in an interview with the BBC. "All nations should declare — all nations — that nuclear weapons must destroyed. This is to save ourselves and our planet."

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Gorbachev's remarks came just months after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that Gorbachev negotiated and signed with former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

The pact barred both parties from possessing, testing, or using ground-launched nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,400 miles.

Disarmament advocates, including Gorbachev himself, warned earlier this year that Trump's decision to ditch the Cold War-era treaty would set off a new nuclear arms race.

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Asked Monday to describe current tensions between Russia and the West, Gorbachev responded, "Chilly, but still a war."

"Look at what's happening," said Gorbachev. "In different places, there are skirmishes, there is shooting, aircraft and ships being sent here, there, and everywhere. This is not the kind of situation we want. There mustn't be bloodshed."

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