Mikhail Gorbachev: 'The world is on the brink of a new Cold War.'

Mikhail Gorbachev: 'The world is on the brink of a new Cold War.'
(Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Speaking at a Saturday event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall, former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev said the West's "triumphalism" has pushed tensions between the world's major powers to dangerous heights.

"The world is on the brink of a new Cold War," he said in a speech reported by The Associated Press. "Some are even saying that it's already begun."

Gorbachev blamed the West, particularly the United States, for the current upheaval in Ukraine. He called for international sanctions against Russia to be lifted, saying they could render Europe "irrelevant." President Barack Obama addressed those sanctions in a speech on Friday, saying they are in place because of Russia's ongoing actions in support of separatist militants in Ukraine.

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Sarah Eberspacher

Sarah Eberspacher is an associate editor at TheWeek.com. She has previously worked as a sports reporter at The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus and The Arizona Republic. She graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.