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'Bush trying to dominate world politics'

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev criticises the Bush administration's efforts to "dominate world politics" and says a multi-polar world is the key to global security.

world Updated: Jul 28, 2007 16:28 IST

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has criticised the Bush administration's efforts to "dominate world politics" and said a multi-polar world was the key to global security.

"The situation today is such that each country's security can only be guaranteed by joint security efforts. In this mutually-dependent world, there can only be universal security," said Gorbachev, 76, who played a key role in the dismantling of Soviet Union.

The US has been pressing for deployment of elements of its missile defence system in central Europe, to defend itself and the European continent against potential threats from Iran and North Korea.

Moscow has strongly opposed the plans, citing national security concerns, and has offered Washington the joint use of a radar Russia rents in Azerbaijan as an alternative.

"Resorting to the old (Cold War) methods in these rapidly changing circumstances is absolutely misguided," said Gorbachev on Friday.

The last Soviet president said the George W Bush administration would clearly not give up its striving for unchallenged global leadership.

"Under the current US president and his administration, we will have little chance to dramatically change the situation," he said. "This situation is dangerous, and this is what the future (US) government must be aware of."

Gorbachev's tenure in 1985-1991 helped restructure security relations with Washington and brought crucial arms control deals following negotiation with US presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush senior.

Gorbachev, who now heads the Gorbachev Foundation - a socio-political think tank, called for more intensive cooperation as a way to reduce international tensions.

"There is a feeling of growing international unrest, which can only be stopped by political means, only through cooperation and a greater role for international institutions," Gorbachev said.

Russia and Western nations have recently clashed on a number of issues, including the status of Kosovo, Moscow's alleged use of energy exports for political purposes, an extradition dispute with Britain, the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and its missile shield plans in Europe, and NATO countries' refusal to ratify a key land-based arms reduction treaty.

First Published: Jul 28, 2007 15:26 IST