Gorbachev warns of risk of US-Russia armed conflict

The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev

The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev

The last Soviet leader has accused the US of pushing Russia into a new Cold War that could lead to an armed conflict.

“America… has already drawn us into a new Cold War,” Mikhail Gorbachev said in an interview published on Thursday.

He added that “I can’t say for sure that a Cold War won’t lead to a ‘hot’ one. I fear they could take the risk.”

“Today, we keep hearing all the time about sanctions in relations to Russia both from America and the European Union. Have they entirely lost their minds? America has ‘totally lost its way in the jungles’ and is dragging us there as well,” he told the Interfax news agency.

The last Soviet leader added that the gap between the West and Russia are “too wide. And, regrettably, it is not getting any narrower. Rather, it keeps growing even further!”

He has also in the past criticized the West for what he called their short-sighted policies on major global issues.

Gorbachev said the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine have proven the West’s incompetence in its claim to resolve global issues.

Global instability 

He further said tensions between major world powers have led to instability on a global scale, blaming the Western countries, particularly the US, for the problems.

Russia has been the target of sanctions by the US and EU, which accuse Moscow of supporting pro-Russia forces in east Ukraine.

Russia has categorically denied the allegation.

The two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since Kiev started military operations in the regions in April 2014 in a bid to crush the protests.

Violence intensified last May after the two regions held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.

According to the UN, the death toll in the Ukrainian conflict has surpassed 5,000 while over 10,000 others have been injured.