Is Trump the new Gorbachev

Gorbachev calls on Putin and Biden for nuclear disarmament

Before his 90th birthday, the former Kremlin boss Mikhail Gorbachev expressed the hope that relations with the European Union would improve. "You shouldn't be afraid of negotiations," said the Nobel Peace Prize laureate today to the Interfax agency.

Relations between Moscow and Brussels in the Ukraine conflict are more tense than they have been since the Cold War. “Only negotiations, only meetings at all levels - especially at the highest level - can bring positive results. I believe in it, ”he said. The former Soviet president will be 90 years old next Tuesday.

"The main thing is to prevent nuclear war"

"You have to understand that we are all Europeans (...) That means that we have to negotiate." In the interview, Gorbachev also called on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US colleague Joe Biden for a personal meeting and new nuclear disarmament negotiations. “The main thing today is to prevent nuclear war,” Gorbachev warned. "In order to make progress, you have to approach each other openly."

His experience with US President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s had shown that the leaders of the two largest nuclear powers could achieve a great deal on global security issues if they wanted to. Washington and Moscow had signed several nuclear disarmament treaties under the reformer Gorbachev. Under Biden's predecessor Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from most of the agreements.

After Biden took office, Washington and Moscow agreed at the end of January to extend the last major nuclear disarmament treaty, New START, by five years. The Treaty on the Limitation of Strategic Nuclear Weapons entered into force on February 5, 2011. The agreement, which would have expired at the beginning of February, limits the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the United States to 800 delivery systems and 1,550 operational nuclear warheads each. Russia and the USA together own around 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons.