Trump and Putin Are Leading New Nuclear Cold War Between West and Russia, Foreign Minister Says

U.S. President Donald J. Trump arrives at the The White House on August 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump returned to Washington after hosting a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, and attending a veteran's convention in Reno, Nevada. Getty Images/Chris Kleponis-Pool

A new Cold War, including an increase in nuclear arms, is brewing between the Western world and Russia with three top world leaders at the forefront, Germany's foreign minister said in an interview published Saturday.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's top diplomat, told German newspaper Bild that a new "ice age" has started and said that U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's means of keeping and attaining power were responsible.

Gabriel said each leader views the world "as an arena, a battleground…This is a dangerous development."

He also called for Germany to stand against what he called a "new phase of nuclear rearmaments," and criticized sitting German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party for lashing out against former Chancellor Gerard Schroder's links to Russia businesses.

Merkel is currently leading polls and expected to win a third term next month when Germany holds elections.

Gabriel's comments came as relations between the U.S. and Russia have been described by diplomats and other leaders as at a low point and deteriorating. Each side has also amassed troops in and around Eastern Europe.

Most recently, the U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan bill that issued new sanctions on Russia for its alleged hacking of last year's election, efforts that are believed to have been carried out in order to elevate Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump signed the sanctions bill but also questioned Congress for limiting his power. The bill said attempts by the president to relinquish the sanctions would require congressional approval.

Trump also bragged on Twitter about the U.S.'s nuclear arsenal earlier this month after threatening North Korea with "fire and fury" like the world had never seen.

"My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before," Trump tweeted on August 9. "Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!"

The president may have been referring to his order to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to review the U.S.'s arsenal earlier this year, and the Trump administration had previously called for an 11 percent increase to nuclear program budgets, according to CNN.