Gorbachev: Post-Cold War US Arrogance Behind Tensions With Russia

© Sputnik / Alexander Vilf / Go to the photo bankFirst president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev
First president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev - Sputnik International
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Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev believes that tense relations between Russia and the West are due to the United States’ arrogance in the post-Soviet period.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – In an interview with Britain’s The Sunday Times daily, Gorbachev accused Washington of "rubbing their hands with glee" at the idea that "we won the Cold War," instead of acknowledging Russia’s role in ending the decades-long geopolitical standoff.

"They thought, ‘Now we’re the boss of the world.’ They weren’t genuinely interested in helping Russia develop into a stable and strong democracy. They thought they’d cut Russia down to size. In the process, they’ve squandered the trust we’d built," Gorbachev said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks after a NATO-Russia Council at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 20, 2016. - Sputnik International
Stoltenberg: ‘NATO Does Not Want New Cold War’ With Russia
Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014 served as a turning point in Moscow’s relations with the West, the Soviet leader said, voicing approval of the referendum that saw over 96 percent of the peninsula’s residents voting in favor of seceding from Ukraine.

"I’m always with the free will of the people and most in Crimea wanted to be reunited with Russia… Had I still been in power, the Soviet Union would still exist and Crimea would be a part of it," Gorbachev stressed.

He expressed regret with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, saying "my intention was always to reform it, never to destroy it."

Gorbachev hypothesized that most Russians, while "deeply sorry" the country with vast resources "vanished," they do not want it back.

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