Ex-Soviet Leader Gorbachev: Entire World Must Tackle Nuclear Issue

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev believes the whole world should now act to tackle the nuclear problem without falling into hopelessness.

In an interview with Sputnik on the eve of his 90th birthday, the former Soviet leader called the present time "responsible and very difficult".

"We should believe and act. First, the whole world should tackle the nuclear issue. I drew attention to the fact that Russia had proposed to all nuclear powers to confirm the formula: 'a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought'. I completely support this, especially given that [former US President] Ronald Reagan and I stated this at our very first meeting in 1985. And as a result, the process of nuclear disarmament began, although it was not easy", Gorbachev said.

Gorbachev, who was the first and last president of the USSR, expressed confidence that similar cooperation is possible in many other areas of life.

The principle of "a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought" was adopted by Reagan and Gorbachev at the Geneva summit in 1985. Moscow has repeatedly urged Washington to renew this principle.

In 1987, the two leaders signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty to avert a new arms race. The sides agreed to destroy all cruise or ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (310 miles and 3,400 miles). In 2019, Washington withdrew from the agreement prompting Moscow to do the same./sputniknews