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The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us - all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all  faiths - must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.

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10 April 2018

Mikhail Gorbachev: “I am deeply frustrated with the way today’s leaders are doing business”

Q: The current situation has already gained comparisons to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1961. Do you share such views?

A: I hope we will not come to this after all. Still, I am deeply concerned. We have not seen such a situation in a while, and I am deeply frustrated with the way today’s leaders are doing business. We clearly see inability to maintain a dialogue or use diplomatic instruments. Global politics have turned into an exercise in mutual accusations, sanctions or even military strikes.

Q: So what is there to be done?

A: First off, we need to break this vicious cycle of sanctions and counter-sanctions. Political will needs to be shown, and efforts at further escalation should be abandoned.
The next step would be accelerating preparations for a summit between the leaders of the USA and Russia, since the current confrontation is mostly between our two countries. They need as soon as possible to meet “half-way” but in a full-fledged format – for one or two days of serious discussions with participation of respective foreign and defence ministers.

Q: What should they discuss?

A: I have already proposed two themes in my articles and interviews – these are strategic stability and curbing the arms race. Another important issue has come to the fore recently – prevention of incidents involving US and Russian troops and military hardware. I am confident: no one wants to go into war; however, in the current atmosphere of high tensions, such incidents can lead to a huge disaster.

Q: Why do you think this has not been done and why are things headed on a dangerous course?

A: I think one of the reasons is that people have not realised yet the urgency of the situation, and have not truly put their leaders under pressure. We need to have a peace movement relaunched. We need it not for people to engage in accusations or a blame game, but to demand that their leaders engage in a serious dialogue and rid the world of this looming threat.