Published: 2018-10-21 10:57
Last Updated: 2018-10-21 15:58
US President, Donald Trump, said on Saturday, October 20, 2018, that Washington will withdraw from the nuclear arms treaty signed with Moscow in 1987 during the Cold War, accusing Russia of "violating it for many years” by developing a new cruise missile.
“Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years and I don’t know why President Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out,” Trump told reporters in Nevada.
“We’ll have to develop those weapons”, “we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.”
“If Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable. So we have a tremendous amount of money to play with with our military,” he added.
The deputy director general of the Royal United Services Institute, Malcolm Chalmers, said that “this is the most severe crisis in nuclear arms control since the 1980s”.
“If the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces), treaty collapses, and with the new START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) due to expire in 2021, the world could be left without any limits on the nuclear arsenals of nuclear states for the first time since 1972.”
This comes at a time when the US National Security Adviser, John Bolton, is visiting Moscow. According to The Guardian newspaper, Bolton is pushing for US withdrawal from the 30-year nuclear weapons treaty.
Moscow has repeatedly denied violating the treaty, pointing out that Trump has failed to produce any evidence.
The Russian Foreign Ministry responded to the announcement of the US withdrawal from INF treaty, saying that the main motive for Trump is a single global superpower.
“The main motive is a dream of a unipolar world. Will it come true? No,” a Ministry official told the state news agency Ria Novosti.
Washington “has approached this step over the course of many years by deliberately and step-by-step destroying the basis for the agreement,” the official said.
“This decision fits into the US policy of ditching the international agreements which impose equal obligations on it and its partners, and render the ‘exceptionalism’ concept vulnerable,” the official added.
The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov, stated that Trump’s threats are “blackmail”, adding that Washington wants “total domination” in the military sphere, and that is why they are dismantling the treaty.
The INF Treaty, signed in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan, and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, effectively bans the development of short- and mid-range missiles of all types.
Russia is expecting to hear more from Trump’s top security adviser, Bolton, tomorrow in Moscow.
Deputy Ryabkov stated that issues of nuclear arms treaties are not only national but are a global security; adding that “emotional” decisions shouldn’t be rushed into.