On the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany, which marked the end of the Cold War in 1989, former Soviet head Mikhail Gorbachev has now warned that a new cold war era may be looming.
Citing tensions between the East and the West, especially over the Ukraine crisis, Gorbachev said on Saturday that the world is "on the brink of a new cold war", and chided the United Nations for not taking concrete action. He even blamed the western nations for succumbing to "triumphalism" post 1989.
"The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some say that it has already begun," he was quoted saying by Reuters. "And yet, while the situation is dramatic, we do not see the main international body, the UN Security Council, playing any role or taking any concrete action."
A warning of a cold war coming from Gorbachev, who himself is said to be instrumental in putting an end to decades of tension between the East and the West, could be of a serious stature, given that the conflict in the Middle East and the Ukraine crisis have already killed thousands.
"Bloodshed in Europe and the Middle East against the backdrop of a breakdown in dialogue between the major powers is of enormous concern," he said at an event at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.
About 4,000 people are said to have died in the eastern Ukraine conflict between pro-Russia separatists and national forces, and NATO forces have maintained that Russia is aiding the conflict.
However, Gorbachev blamed the West for the current state of global affairs.
"Euphoria and triumphalism went to the heads of Western leaders," he said. "Taking advantage of Russia's weakening and the lack of a counterweight, they claimed monopoly leadership and domination of the world, refusing to heed words of caution from many of those present here," he said.
Gorbachev then went on to say that Europe, which he believes is becoming increasingly "irrelevant," is bearing the brunt.
"Who is suffering the most from what's happening? I think the answer is more than clear: It is Europe."
He said that Europe has turned into a region of political turbulence and military conflict.
"The consequence inevitably is Europe weakening at a time when other centres of power and influence are gaining momentum. If this continues, Europe will lose a strong voice in global affairs and gradually become irrelevant."