Frail Mikhail Gor­bachev warns against re­turn to the Cold War

Manila Bulletin - - World News -

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Mikhail Gor­bachev, the last Soviet leader, warned on Thurs­day against ris­ing ten­sions be­tween Rus­sia and the United States and said there should be no re­turn to the Cold War.

The frail 87-year-old was phys­i­cally helped by aides to a cin­ema hall to watch the pre­miere in Rus­sia of a new doc­u­men­tary about his life, his Soviet re­forms in the 1980s and his arms con­trol drive that helped end the Cold War.

His legacy has come un­der a pall as ties be­tween Moscow and Wash­ing­ton have fallen to post-Cold War lows, fol­low­ing Rus­sia’s an­nex­a­tion of Crimea in 2014 and rows over sanc­tions, elec­tion med­dling and the poi­son­ing of a spy in Eng­land.

He spoke briefly to a cin­ema hall in Moscow af­ter “Meet­ing Gor­bachev,” a new doc­u­men­tary di­rected by film­mak­ers Werner Her­zog and An­dre Singer, and was asked if the world would hold back from a new Cold War.

“We must hold back,” he said. “And not just from the Cold War. We have to con­tinue the course we mapped. We have to ban war once and for all. Most im­por­tant is to get rid of nu­clear weapons.”

Re­viled by many Rus­sians as the man whose re­forms ul­ti­mately led to the Soviet breakup, Gor­bachev is lauded in the West as the man who helped end the Cold War.

Gor­bachev, whose vis­i­bly ail­ing health was in stark con­trast to the vig­or­ous re­formist fig­ure he cut in the 1980s, said the world was mov­ing dan­ger­ously closer to a new arms race.

Last month in a col­umn for the New York Times, Gor­bachev de­nounced the United States af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said he planned to quit the In­ter­me­di­ate-Range Nu­clear Forces treaty which Gor­bachev and Ron­ald Rea­gan signed in 1987.

For­mer Soviet Pres­i­dent Mikhail Gor­bachev ges­tures as he at­tends the Rus­sian pre­miere of the doc­u­men­tary film "Meet­ing Gor­bachev" in Moscow, Rus­sia Novem­ber 8, 2018. (Reuters)

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