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Gorbachev: nuclear weapons putting world in ‘colossal danger’

Mikhail Gorbachev (Veni/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that the current standoff between Russia and the West is putting the world in “colossal danger” due to the threat from nuclear weapons.

In an interview with the BBC published on November 4, Gorbachev called for all countries to declare that nuclear weapons “must be destroyed” in order to “save ourselves and our planet.”

“As far as weapons of mass destruction exist, primarily nuclear weapons, the danger is colossal,” he said.

The 88-year-old Gorbachev sat down slowly at the start of the interview and spoke deliberately at times in the handful of brief clips that were interspersed with other material in the BBC’s video report.

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The interview comes three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, amid hints of a return of the Cold War.

Asked to describe the current tensions between Moscow and the West, Gorbachev said, “Chilly, but still a war.”

Fears of a renewed nuclear arms race have heightened since both the United States and Russian this year withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that was signed by Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1987.