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Gorbachev advises US, Russian compromise to repair ties

GORBACHEV ADVISES US, RUSSIAN COMPROMISE TO REPAIR TIES

The last leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev has called on Russia and US to reach a mutual understanding after a deterioration in the relationship between the two great powers. He said in a interview with Anadolu agency that American and Russian leaders need to make a compromise before it's too late.

Mikhail Gorbachev has called on President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump to reach a mutual understanding after a deterioration in the relationship between the powers.

Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, forged a close partnership with then U.S. President Ronald Reagan to bring about the end of the Cold War.

"American and Russian leaders need to make a compromise before it's too late," he said in an interview with Anadolu Agency on Monday.

"My advice to the leaders: Not to get into a panic and not to scare each other."

Gorbachev, 86, is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures of the late 20th century for his role in introducing economic and political reforms as well as initiating nuclear disarmament with the U.S. The changes ultimately contributed to the dissolution of the Soviet bloc.

Relations between the U.S. and Russia have declined in recent years, particularly since Moscow's annexation of the Crimea in 2014.

Claims of interference in last year's U.S. presidential election have accelerated the diplomatic frost.

Last week, Trump reluctantly signed a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia over what U.S. intelligence agencies have said was its meddling in the election.

The Kremlin followed this by announcing cuts to the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia and seizing two U.S. facilities.

Gorbachev said both sides should come together to seek common ground for dialogue "even in the most difficult political situations".

Referring to his 1985 appointment as general secretary of the Soviet Union, he added: "When I came into power, bilateral relations were made up of polemics and recrimination."

He advised against the "destructive situation in politics" that had supported the Cold War.

"Fortunately, the administrations of both countries realized the great danger that nuclear armament had started to create," he said.

Last month, in an interview with Italian journalist Giulietto Chiesa, Gorbachev described how the handshake between Putin and Trump at the G20 in Hamburg reminded him of his own detente with Reagan.

"This is a historic chance, a unique opportunity," he said, according to Chiesa in an article for the Center for Research on Globalization.

He added: "We need to take this chance and to look forward further developments. We can get unexpected achievements. We can get something that was unthinkable until not long ago."

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