Gorbachev Warns of New Cold War at Berlin Wall Ceremony

World | November 9, 2014, Sunday // 13:53|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis have put the world "on the brink of a new Cold War."

Gorbachev spoke on November 8 at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall close to the Brandenburg Gate.

"The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some say it has already begun," he declared, referring to the crisis in Ukraine.

He accused the West, and the United States in particular, of giving in to "triumphalism" after the collapse of the communist bloc and taking advantage of Russia’s weakening and a lack of a counterweight, using the opportunity to claim monopoly leadership and domination in the world.

83-year-old Gorbachev underscored the failure of global powers to cope with conflicts in Yugoslavia, the Middle East, and now Ukraine.

"Bloodshed in Europe and the Middle East against the backdrop of a breakdown in dialogue between the major powers is of enormous concern," he added, as cited by Radio Free Europe.

Gorbachev called for enhancing dialogue with Russia to build trust and suggested that the United States and the European Union lift the sanctions imposed on Russian officials over the country’s actions in eastern Ukraine.

Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in Berlin for Sunday's celebrations.

Sunday’s ceremonies will be attended by German President Joachim Gauck, former Polish President Lech Walesa, Hungarian ex-president Miklos Nemeth, Mikhail Gorbachev, and many other other official guests.

On Sunday evening, starting at 7 pm, 8 000 white balloons are to be released into the air one by one, to the music of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

The balloons currently line the 15km former border, forming a “wall of light.”

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Tags: Mikhail Gorbachev, Berlin Wall


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