SHAFAQNA – Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, has warned that the world is edging closer to a new Cold War, in comments made on the eve of celebrations to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“The world is on the brink of a new Cold War,” said Mr Gorbachev, speaking at an event, near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, to mark the 25th anniversary. “Some are even saying that it’s already begun.”
The 83-year-old, who ordered his Soviet troops stationed in East Germany to remain in their barracks on the night of November 9 1989, has been scathing in his view of what he termed Western “triumphalism”.
“Taking advantage of Russia‘s weakening and a lack of a counterweight, they claimed monopoly leadership and domination in the world. And they refused to heed the word of caution from many of those present here,” he said.
“The events of the past months are consequences of short-sighted policies of seeking to impose one’s will and fait accompli while ignoring the interests of one’s partners.”
President Barack Obama appeared to share some of Mr Gorbachev’s concerns for Europe – although he blamed Moscow for the current tensions.
Paying tribute to the East Berliners who pushed past border guards to flood through the Wall, Mr Obama said on Friday that “as Russia’s actions against Ukraine remind us, we have more work to do to fully realise our shared vision of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace.”
But Mr Gorbachev pointed the finger of blame for current tensions firmly back at the West. Making reference to Nato expansion, military intervention in Syria and Iraq, and simmering troubles in Kosovo, he said that Europe was becoming “an arena of political upheaval, of competition for the spheres of influence, and finally of military conflict.”
And he described the Ukraine crisis as a “blister turning into a bleeding, festering wound.”
His comments came as five more coffins carrying victims of the MH17 plane crash – which was downed by a rebel-fired missile on July 17 – were flown out of Ukraine and back to the Netherlands, which is leading the investigation into the accident.
Bert Koenders, the Dutch foreign minister, warned on Saturday that the remains of the last nine victims on MH17 might never be fully recovered.
On Monday the Netherlands – which lost more of its citizens in the crash than any other country – will hold a national commemoration service in Amsterdam for the victims. Hundreds of grieving relatives are expected to attend, along with politicians and the Dutch king and queen.
source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/11218459/Mikhail-Gorbachev-warns-the-world-is-on-the-brink-of-a-new-Cold-War.html