The world is in a “colossal” danger as long as weapons of mass destruction exist, according to the Soviet Union's last leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
“All nations should declare that nuclear weapons must be destroyed. This is to save ourselves and our planet,” Gorbachev, who oversaw the peaceful reunification of Germany and the end of the Cold War, said in an interview with the BBC.
In 1987, Gorbachev and the then US president, Ronald Reagan, signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty which outlawed nuclear-capable land-based ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.
President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the treaty this year, followed by Russia.
Commenting on the current standoff between Russia and the West, Gorbachev said it was “chilly, but still a war”.
“In different places, there are skirmishes, there is shooting, aircraft and ships are being sent here, there and everywhere,” the former Soviet leader told the BBC's Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg. “This is not the kind of situation we want.”
Recalling the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago, which marked the end of the Cold War, Gorbachev said the Soviet Union decided not to interfere to avoid bloodshed “over the issue of such magnitude for Germany, for us, for Europe, the whole world”.
He was also asked by the BBC what his advice would be for Brexit.
“You can figure that one out yourselves,” Gorbachev said. “You British are clever clogs.”