The Great Hero Mikhail Gorbachev: Don’t Build Berlin-style Wall Between Russia and West

by | Nov 11, 2019

Here’s a man who deserves some attention when he beseeches:

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, has warned against building a new physical or invisible wall between Russia and the West, 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In written comments to Reuters before the anniversary of the Wall being brought down on Nov. 9, 1989, Gorbachev also accused Washington – Moscow’s former Cold War enemy – of destroying the nuclear arms control architecture that keeps the world safe. …

Three decades [after ending the Cold War and dismantling the Soviet empire], and suffering intermittent health problems, Gorbachev said he was concerned by the dire state of East-West relations and in particular by the lack of dialogue between Washington and Moscow about nuclear weapons.

He referred to Washington’s decision to withdraw from a landmark 1987 nuclear missile pact, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which he negotiated with then U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from it in August was “not the work of a great mind,” said Gorbachev.

But despite his criticism of U.S. foreign policy, Gorbachev warned against throwing up real or invisible Cold War-style barriers akin to the Berlin Wall to formalize East-West differences.

“Any wall is an attempt to seal oneself off from the real problem by not solving it and that’s why I’m against walls. And in Europe I’m against any dividing lines or any ‘Iron Curtains’,” Gorbachev told Reuters.

“However dangerous the current situation is, I don’t think it’s a re-run of the Cold War. There’s no ideological struggle between Russia and the West. But there are economic links, freedom of movement, communication and a cultural convergence. So I’m convinced that a new Cold war can be avoided.”

About Scott Horton

Scott Horton is director of the Libertarian Institute, editorial director of Antiwar.com, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from ScottHorton.org. He's the author of the 2021 book Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism, the 2017 book, Fool's Errand:Time to End the War in Afghanistan, editor of the 2019 book The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019 and the 2022 book Hotter Than The Sun: Time to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. He’s conducted more than 6,000 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Larisa Alexandrovna Horton.

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