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Gorbachev warns from Berlin: World on brink of new Cold War

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Gorbachev warns from Berlin: World on brink of new Cold War


Whether they are old enough to remember when the Wall came down or 25 years ago is ancient history, hundreds of thousands of Germans and foreign tourists are turning back the clock in Berlin to mark an historic anniversary.

But the party is taking place amid a word of warning from a guest of honour, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev whose reforms are credited with setting in motion the process that led to the Wall’s demise.

“Bloodshed in Europe and the Middle East against the backdrop of a breakdown in the dialogue between major powers is of enormous concern,” said Gorbachev, speaking at a memorial event in Berlin.

“The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some are even saying that it has already begun.”

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, brought up in the former Communist East, sees the reunified capital of Berlin as a virtual symbol of Europe’s unification.

As a further symbol, thousands of illuminated white balloons, lined up along a stretch where the Wall once stood, will be released into the sky on Sunday night as the celebrations reach a crescendo.

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