Former USSR leader criticises missile defence plans

The former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has criticised Washington's plans to deploy a missile defence system in Eastern Europe. In an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio he said that Washington's reasons for the system are suspicious.

“I think that nuclear weapons must be reduced further – even to complete liquidation. I have to say that the process of eliminating nuclear weapons has been stopped. Moreover, the Americans dropped out of the Anti-missile Defence Treaty and refused to sign the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. They effectively halted it. And when they saw that Russia was regaining control of the situation, they started to worry. They must have asked themselves why it is happening,” said Mikhail Gorbachev, USSR leader in 1985-1991.