Gorbachev: Trump, Putin must lead effort to reduce nukes


Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is urging President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to take the first steps in reducing the world’s nuclear arsenal.


In an op-ed in Time magazine on Thursday, Gorbachev, who oversaw the end of the Cold War, said Trump and Putin should introduce a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning any possibility of nuclear war, claiming that the two “bear a special responsibility” to assuage the world’s nuclear concerns.


“Relations between the great powers have been going from bad to worse for several years now,” Gorbachev wrote. “The advocates for arms build-up and the military-industrial complex are rubbing their hands.”


{mosads}“We must break out of this situation,” he added. “We need to resume political dialogue aiming at joint decisions and joint action.”


Gorbachev painted a picture of a world on the brink of war, citing increasingly and aggressive language from politicians and military leaders, and expounding the existence of a “new arms race.” Military budgets, he said, are growing, while government spending on social programs is waning.


“Money is easily found for sophisticated weapons whose destructive power is comparable to that of the weapons of mass destruction; for submarines whose single salvo is capable of devastating half a continent; for missile defense systems that undermine strategic stability,” he said.


The former Soviet president’s op-ed came as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced that the “Doomsday Clock” – a metaphorical clock measuring how close humanity is to destruction – was ticking closer to midnight. The move was in part due to Trump’s comments on nuclear weapons, the group said.


Trump has stirred concern more than once for his comments on nuclear weapons. Last month, he called for the U.S. to “strengthen and expand its nuclear capabilities.” And during a presidential debate in September, the real estate mogul said that he would not take launching a first nuclear strike “off the table.”

At the same time, North Korea is preparing to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile. If the test is successful, it would signify a major advancement for the hermit kingdom’s nuclear program and its stated goal of striking the U.S.

Tags Donald Trump Mikhail Gorbachev nukes Security Council United Nations Vladimir Putin
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