United States President Donald Trump recently announce he would get out of the Nuclear Arms Treaty his predecessors signed with Russia saying the country had violated its provisions:
“We’re the ones who have stayed in the agreement and we’ve honoured the agreement. But Russia has not, unfortunately, honoured the agreement, so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.”
“Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years. I don’t know why President (Barack) Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out. And we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons (while) we’re not allowed to.”
In response, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said President Trump was courting international condemnation just for the United States to regain military supremacy.
Accordng to Ryabkov, Russia has always strictly observed the 3-decade old intermediate range nuclear forces treaty. It is referred to as the INF. The treaty was negotiated and agreed upon in 1987 by then-leaders US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
John Bolton, Trump’s National Security Adviser, is scheduled to meet with Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
Trump and Russian President, Vladimir Putin, are expected to have a second summit before the end of 2018.
President Trump has complained of Russia’s deployment of the 9M7729 missiles which reportedly can cover a distance of more than 500km, a clear violation of the INF treaty.
If the U.S withdraws from the INF, this could open the doors for China to develop its own intermediate-range nuclear weapons.
The relationship between the United States and Russia has been under tremendous strain. Russians have been accused of meddling in the 2016 elections. The United States is also against Russia’s continued support of the Syrian government.