Mikhail Gorbachev stated that the United States has pulled Russia into a new Cold War that faces the risk of further escalation.
The 83-year-old former Soviet leader made the comments on Thursday in an interview with Russian news agency Interfax.
"The U.S. has already dragged us into a new Cold War, trying to openly implement its idea of triumphalism," he is quoted as saying.
"Where will that lead all of us?" he said.
"I can no longer say that this Cold War will not lead to a ‘Hot War.’ I fear that they could risk it," Gorbachev said, referring to the United States. "All you hear is about sanctions towards Russia from America and the European Union. Have they totally lost their heads? The U.S. has been totally 'lost in the jungle' and is dragging us there as well."
The new comments follow a warning in November from the Soviet Union's last leader when he said, "The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some say that it has already begun."
A month later he said that the U.S. is "tortured by triumphalism" and called for deescalation in the midst of hostilities in Ukraine. "This whole process may and needs to be stopped. It was stopped in the 1980s. And we opted for deescalation and reunification. Back then it was harsher than today. And now we can also do this," Gorbachev said at the time.
Earlier this week, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council that a political solution to the conflict in Ukraine was urgent.
"Over 5,000 lives have already been lost in this conflict," Feltman said. "We must find a way to stop it and must do so now."