Gorbachev warns of failure of nuclear ban

Gorbachev warns of failure of nuclear ban

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, has warned that civilisation could be on the brink of destruction after the end of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty he signed with then US president Ronald Reagan. 

Gorbachev signed the arms race treaty limiting the use of medium-range missiles, both conventional and nuclear.

Gorbachev said the US abandonment of the treaty was the “first steps towards destruction”. 

“Speakers and politicians, people understand that this, the new cold war, must not be allowed. This might turn out to be a hot war that could mean the destruction of our entire civilisation. This must not be allowed,” said the 88-year-old. He added that at risk were “all the agreements that are there are preserved and not destroyed … If this path goes further, then everything is possible. This must not be allowed.”

On the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1989 and the collapse of the USSR, Gorbachev said it was a process Washington could learn from.

Asked what lessons could be drawn from the withdrawal of Soviet troops, Gorbachev told CNN: “They must be withdrawn. That is the main lesson. You know, it’s like a match. The match is lit, a fire spreads. And these clashes, when the leading, largest countries in this conflict become ever more involved, they are dangerous for all nations.”

New weapons

Russia’s MiG-31K interceptor jet has carried out a test of the Kinjal (Dagger) hypersonic missile in the Russian Arctic, according to the Kremlin mouthpiece Tass.

Denmark’s intelligence service has also warned of intensifying geopolitical Arctic tension. It claimed the Chinese armed forces were using Arctic scientific research to boost Beijing’s influence in the region.

The tests took place in mid-November, said Tass, taking off from the Olenegorsk in Murmansk to intercept a missile at the Pemboi training ground in the Arctic Komi region.

Danish intelligence reported that “a great power play is shaping up” between Russia, the US and China in the Arctic.

Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the Kinjal in March 2018, calling the new missiles unbeatable, capable of evading any enemy’s defences.

Russia says the Kinjal can hit targets at a range of up to 2,000km with nuclear or conventional warheads and they have already been deployed along the southern Russian border.

 

President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in the White House. on December 8, 1987. Picture credit: Wikimedia 

 

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