Chairman of the Humans Rights Foundation Garry Kasparov believes US President Donald Trump sees Russia's President Vladimir Putin as "a counterpart", which could result in the disruption of peace and security across the globe.
Kasparov has campaigned against the Putin regime since 2005. He made his latest comments during an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (February 19).
The chess grandmaster labelled the Russian leader as a "dictator", adding he is not surprised that Trump and Putin have formed a good relationship, as they share common ground.
"It is not surprising. Putin is a dictator and prefers to deal with another strong man," he began. "Trump is known for his affinity and strong measures and I think Trump also sees Putin as a potential counterpart to make decisions in one on one negotiations as part of a grand bargain."
Born in Azerbaijan when it was part of the Soviet Union in 1963, Kasparov was the world's top-ranked chess player for a record 20 years. He retired in 2005 and quickly became a voice in the Russian pro-democracy movement against Vladimir Putin's regime. At the time, Putin was serving his first time as Russia's president, which ended in 2008 when he became Russia's prime minister.
Kasaprov later founded the Civil Front and organised several marches of dissent to protest against Putin. His actions led to trouble with the Russian government in 2013 and he promptly fled from Moscow to New York, where he was soon named chairman of the Human Rights Foundation.
Quizzed by Marr on whether a potential relationship between Trump and Putin might be a good thing, Kasparov was less optimistic, adding that it could spell the end of "guaranteed security and peace" across the globe.
"Good solid relationships are built on common ground and certain values that are shared – the understanding that both sides are willing to follow the conditions of the agreement and play by the rules.
On Saturday (18 February) US Vice President Mike Pence vowed that the country would "hold Russia responsible" in light of their ongoing clashes with Ukrainian forces in Crimea, but Kasparov commented that a potential deal could cause serious damage to democracy.
"The potential grand bargain between Trump and Putin is not just a deal between America and Russia.
"This deal will be made, if it is made, at expense of American traditional allies and democracy and Nato members and that will be the end of the global infrastructure that guaranteed security and peace for several decades."