© Grigoriy Sisoev / Sputnik
En dag før den russiske og amerikanske præsident skal mødes, har den tidligere sovjetiske leder, Mikhail Gorbachev, kaldt Moskva og Washington til at råde bod på tabt tid og genetablere tillid for at være istand til at sænke globale spændinger.
"Først og fremmest, er det godt at dette møde langt om længe finder sted, men det er en skam at det først sker nu," sagde Gorbachev til RIA, dagen inden det første møde mellem Vladimir Putin og Donald Trump.

"Meget tid er gået tabt. Vi er nød til at genetablere tillid."

"På et tidspunkt, ville folk i Præsident [Ronald] Reagan's egen administration rent faktisk ikke lade ham gå til [vores] møde i Geneve. Men han gav ikke under for presset, og vi, for vores vedkommende, mødte frem med alvorlige konstruktive forslag."

"Vi har nu brug for en impuls fra lederne, som det skete i Reykjavik i 1986. Vi er nød til at lægge alt på forhandlingsbordet og etablere en mekanisme for samspil, ikke på nogle enkelte punkter, selv vigtige punkter, men på alle problemer," lagde Gorbachev vægt på.

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At the 1986 Reykjavik Summit, Gorbachev and then-US President Reagan came close to a sweeping agreement that would have radically reduced the number of nuclear weapons possessed by both super powers. Nevertheless, the progress attained at that meeting eventually resulted in the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and the USSR.

In his interview with RIA, Gorbachev again underlined the importance of reaching new international arms control and nuclear weapons agreements, such as the old Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which expired in 2009.
"The urgent task is for diplomats and the military to immediately take up the rescue and restoration of the nuclear arms limitation and control system across the entire spectrum - START, missile defense, medium-range missiles," said Gorbachev.
Putin and Trump are set for their first face-to-face meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg Friday. Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov earlier said the meeting could touch on the issues of arms control and strategic stability.
"No matter how hard it may be, I'm certain that it is possible to have a constructive interaction," Gorbachev concluded. "The people, both in Russia and the United States, hope for this and I'm sure the whole world who are tired of the tension and do not want a new Cold War."