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WW3 fears Ukraine: Gorbachev warns of escalating conflict

East-West relations are more strained than ever as a result of the Ukraine conflict. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned of the consequences of an arms build-up in an exclusive interview with Swiss public television. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

Gorbachev was the seventh and last leader of the Soviet Union. His policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) led to the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterises important parts of the international community".

He and US President Ronald Reagan carved a joint legacy in bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end. The two formed an unlikely partnership that improved relations between East and West. In a series of summits, they negotiated arms reduction and the easing of hostilities between the two superpowers.

Gorbachev, 83, continues in international affairs today as an outspoken advocate of nuclear abolition. He’s been visiting Switzerland to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Green Cross Switzerland, a branch of Geneva-based Green Cross International, which he set up in 1993. The organisation focuses on dealing with the damage caused by industrial and military disasters.