President Donald Trump confirmed Saturday that the U.S. would be abandoning a Cold War-era arms treaty, arguing that Russia has defied the terms of the decades-old agreement.
“They have been violating it for many years,” Trump said after a rally in Elko, Nevada, according to a White House readout, referring to the Kremlin’s cooperation with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
“We’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we’re not allowed to,” Trump said.
Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev brokered the pact in 1987 to halt the proliferation of nuclear and conventional missiles.
“We’ll have to develop those weapons,” Trump said, adding: “We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.”
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, who departed this weekend for a trip to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, was scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Saturday.
The US will withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump has confirmed.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said Russia had “violated” the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
The deal banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles).
The US would not let Russia “go out and do weapons [while] we’re not allowed to”, Mr Trump said.
“I don’t know why President [Barack] Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out,” the president said after a campaign rally in Nevada. “They’ve been violating it for many years.”
In 2014, President Obama accused Russia of breaching the INF after it allegedly tested a ground-launched cruise missile. He reportedly chose not to withdraw from the treaty under pressure from European leaders, who said such a move could restart an arms race.
A Russian foreign ministry source said the US move was motivated by a “dream of a unipolar world” where it is the only global superpower, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
src : politico