Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned Friday that "it all looks as if the world is preparing for war."
Gorbachev, who was head of the socialist state when it dissolved in 1991, wrote the comments in an opinion piece for Time magazine.
"More troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers are being brought to Europe," the 85-year-old wrote. "NATO and Russian forces and weapons that used to be deployed at a distance are now placed closer to each other, as if to shoot point-blank."
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The 1990 Nobel Peace Prize-winner added: "Politicians and military leaders sound increasingly belligerent and defense doctrines more dangerous. Commentators and TV personalities are joining the bellicose chorus. It all looks as if the world is preparing for war."
Gorbachev oversaw an agreement with the U.S. to reduce their nuclear arsenals. President Donald Trump, however, has suggested he could bolster the number of such weapons at his disposal, something that would reverse decades of American policy.
Trump has said he would like to expand America’s nuclear weapons, telling MSNBC’s Morning Joe in December: “Let it be an arms race.”
Some expects fear that if Trump undermines NATO and cozies up to Russia, Putin may be emboldened to interfere in other former Soviet countries.
"While state budgets are struggling to fund people’s essential social needs, military spending is growing," Gorbachev wrote. "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."
Gorbachev urged the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution stating that "nuclear war is unacceptable and must never be fought," and said the initiative to sign it should come from Trump and Putin.
Alexander Smith is a senior reporter for NBC News Digital based in London.