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The last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, called on Wednesday for a “normalization of relations” between the United States and Russia, the day of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden.
“The current relations are a source of great concern. Unfortunately, it is a reality. But this also means that something has to be done to normalize relations,” Gorbachev said in an interview with the official Russian agency TASS.
“We need to talk to each other so that our intentions and our actions are clear,” continued the 89-year-old former president, citing his experience at the head of the USSR as an example: when “we resumed the dialogue, we met at the highest level, after a pause! six years! “
“It has to start somewhere. We cannot lock up each other,” added Gorbachev, who urged dialogue between the two powers and reiterated his call to extend the New Start nuclear disarmament treaty, which is about to expire. 5th February.
Successor to Start I (signed in 1991 by Gorbachev and George HW Bush), the New Start treaty keeps the arsenal of the two countries well below its level during the Cold War. In force since 2011, it limits the number of strategic nuclear launchers deployed to 700 and 1,550 warheads.
The imminent expiration of this agreement has raised tensions between Washington and Moscow, which diverge on the terms of its renewal.
“I think it would be possible to agree on various rules of the game, and then see if they are respected. And if they are not upheld, speak openly, address what is not working, the problems,” Gorbachev added.
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