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Berlin Wall Anniversary: Gorbachev Says a New Cold War Could Happen

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BERLIN — Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned in a speech in Berlin on Saturday that East-West tensions over the Ukraine crisis were threatening to push the world into a new Cold War, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Gorbachev, who is credited with forging a rapprochement with the West that led to the demise of communist regimes across Eastern Europe, accused the West, and the United States in particular, of not fulfilling their promises after 1989.

"The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some say that it has already begun," said Gorbachev, who is feted in Germany for his pivotal role in helping create the conditions for the Berlin Wall's peaceful opening on Nov. 9, 1989, heralding the end of the Cold War. "And yet, while the situation is dramatic, we do not see the main international body, the U.N. Security Council, playing any role or taking any concrete action."

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 4,000 people since the start of an uprising by pro-Russian separatists in mid-April. Russia blames the crisis on Kiev and the West, but NATO says it has overwhelming evidence that Russia has aided the rebels militarily in the conflict. Gorbachev, 83, also criticized Europe and said it was in danger of becoming irrelevant as a global power.

IN-DEPTH

— Reuters

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