US could start a new Cold War, warns former Russian President Gorbachev

May 7th, 2008 - 2:32 pm ICT by admin  

London, May 7 (ANI): Former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that the United States could push the world into a new Cold War.
Delivering one of his most scathing attacks on Washington, Gorbachev told The Daily Telegraph that a US military build-up was under way to contain a resurgent Russia.
From Nato’s expansion plans in the former Soviet Union to Washington’s proposals for a bigger defence budget and a missile shield in central Europe, the US was deliberately quashing hopes for permanent peace with Russia, Gorbachev claimed. “We had 10 years after the Cold War to build a new world order and yet we squandered them. The United States cannot tolerate anyone acting independently. Every US president has to have a war,” the paper quoted him, as saying.
Gorbachev hinted that his successor as President, Vladimir Putin, could still direct Russia’s foreign policy, leaving President Medvedev seen by some as more liberal than his mentor to concentrate on internal matters.
Gorbachev claimed that it was only Washington that was responsible for the worst crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War of the 1960s and 70s.
“Russia does not have enemies and Putin is not going to start a war against the United States or any other country for that matter. Yet, we see the United States approving a military budget and the defence secretary pledging to strengthen conventional forces because of the possibility of a war with China or Russia. I sometimes have a feeling that the United States is going to wage war against the entire world,” he added.
Last year, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, told a congressional committee that America needed to boost military spending to counter myriad threats including the “uncertain paths of China and Russia”.
Those comments caused uproar in Russia, with pro-Kremlin newspapers claiming they heralded the start of a new Cold War.
Tensions have already been heightened by a US proposal to build a missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic to counter a nuclear strike by Iran.
Mr Gorbachev, however, claimed the plans were an aggressive act against Russia.
Relations have further deteriorated after Nato promised eventual membership to Georgia and Ukraine, a move interpreted by Gorbachev as an attempt to extend America’s sphere of influence into Russia’s backyard. (ANI)

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