16:28 GMT26 February 2021
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    Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev said that Russia and the United States must get over mutual distrust and restart negotiations beginning with the nuclear issue.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Russia and the United States must get over mutual distrust and restart negotiations beginning with the nuclear issue, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev told Sputnik.

    “Current Russian-US relations are escalated, tense. There was a collapse of mutual trust. I expressed my opinion many times, it is necessary to relaunch negotiations on the entire agenda, not fixing on the regional issues. First of all, [talks must be relaunched] on the nuclear issue,” Gorbachev said.

    Last Monday, the US State Department announced it was suspending bilateral channels with Russia that were established to sustain a cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria. Russia responded with suspending a number of agreements with the United States including those on cooperation in scientific research and development in nuclear and energy sectors and the plutonium disposal agreement.

    Russia and the United States must resume dialogue on nuclear disarmament, the fight against terrorism and environmental issues as the world approaches the edge, Mikhail Gorbachev told Sputnik.

    “I think the world has come to a dangerous point. I would not like to give specific advice, but I want to say it is necessary to stop. It is necessary to resume the dialogue. Its abandoning was the gravest mistake,” Gorbachev said.

    “It is necessary to return to the main priorities. These are nuclear disarmament, the fight against terrorism, the prevention of an environmental disaster. Compared to these challenges, all the rest recedes into the background,” Gorbachev added.

    The Soviet-US summit which took place in 1986 in Reykjavik allowed people to imagine the world without nuclear weapons, the first Soviet president said.

    “Initial US evaluation, the evaluation of State Secretary [George] Shultz was that the negotiations were a failure. But at the press conference I said that Reykjavik is not a defeat, not a failure but a breakthrough. Firstly, we agreed on many issues. Secondly, we glanced into the future, into the perspective of a nuclear-free world,” Gorbachev said.

    On Monday, in Reykjavik an international conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Soviet-US summit, which was held in the capital of Iceland in 1986, will take place. Back than Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan discussed how to stop the nuclear arms race.


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