Russia, the EU and US should immediately hold summits to sort out their differences, believes former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, and the parties should work together on global challenges and threats in order to stabilize international relations.
"We must urgently defrost relations," he said in an article published by Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper.
"I suggest that the leaders of Russia and the United States think about holding a summit on a broad agenda, without preconditions. The same kind of summit must be prepared between Russia and the European Union."
According to Gorbachev, both the USA and Russia should discuss “the specter of relations and problems” together as they have "special responsibility."
"We shouldn’t be afraid that someone will ‘lose face’ or someone will win a propaganda victory. That should all belong in the past. We should think about the future," said Gorbachev, who was instrumental in ending the Cold War between the Soviet Union and Western countries.
Restoring trust was one of the strategic issues Gorbachev proposed for “defrosting” relations between Russia, the US and EU.
“It [restoring trust] should be decided together by transferring the war phase of Ukraine’s conflict into a political one.”
Gorbachev urged to return to mutual cooperation when dealing with global challenges and threats.
“Now the West is almost curtailing interaction with Russia in these areas. But will anyone win from refusing to present a united front against terrorism, climate changes, epidemics? We should immediately ‘defrost’ relations in this direction.”
Speaking on the Ukraine crisis, Gorbachev noted that the situation in Europe and in the whole world is “disturbing.”
“The result of events in recent months is a catastrophic fall of the level of trust in international relations,” said1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner, “From the recent statements the diplomats from both sides are getting ready for a long-term confrontation.”
Gorbachev believes that this situation could be “extremely dangerous.”
He says both sides in Ukraine’s conflict - the Kiev authorities and self-defense forces in the east - are responsible for the conflict.
“Both sides in the Ukrainian conflict are breaching the ceasefire. Both sides are guilty of using especially dangerous types of weapons and breaching human rights."
"War to ‘the victorious end’ is impossible," he said. "It’s time to stop!"
Negotiations in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, are the basis for regulation of the crisis, Gorbachev maintains.
“We need to discuss urgent measures to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. And start creating an international consortium to aid and restore the affected regions.”
Gorbachev has returned to the spotlight in recent months, after making several high-profile comments on international events and the Ukrainian crisis.
He called Russia’s incorporation of Ukraine’s Republic of Crimea a correction of a Soviet-era mistake, condemned Kiev’s military operation in southeastern Ukraine and referred to US President Barack Obama as “a lame duck” for rounding off his second White House term in a “mediocre” way.