Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned Friday that "it all looks as if the world is preparing for war."
Gorbachev was head of the socialist state when it dissolved in 1991.
In his opinion piece for Time magazine, 85-year-old Gorbachev wrote, "More troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers are being brought to Europe. NATO and Russian forces and weapons that used to be deployed at a distance are now placed closer to each other, as if to shoot point-blank.
"Politicians and military leaders sound increasingly belligerent and defense doctrines more dangerous. Commentators and TV personalities are joining the bellicose chorus. It all looks as if the world is preparing for war.
"While state budgets are struggling to fund people's essential social needs, military spending is growing. Money is easily found for sophisticated weapons whose destructive power is comparable to that of the weapons of mass destruction; for submarines whose single salvo is capable of devastating half a continent; for missile defense systems that undermine strategic stability.
"No problem is more urgent today than the militarization of politics and the new arms race,” he continued. “Stopping and reversing this ruinous race must be our top priority."
Gorbachev also encouraged the UN to adopt a resolution banning the use of nuclear weapons, but said this resolution should come from US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I think the initiative to adopt such a resolution should come from Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin – the presidents of two nations that hold over 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenals and therefore bear a special responsibility.
"Ridding the world of this fear means making people freer. This should become a common goal. Many other problems would then be easier to resolve."