Trump announces U.S. withdrawal from INF treaty with Russia

Trump announces U.S. withdrawal from INF treaty with Russia

The United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) because Russia is violating the terms of the agreement, U.S. President Donald Trump said yesterday.

“We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out. We’ll have to develop those weapons,” the Guardian cited president as saying.

At the same time, he did not rule out signing a new agreement on intermediate-range nuclear forces with Moscow and Beijing if Russia and China provide guarantees of halting the production of such weapons.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that the landmark INF Treaty apparently stonewalls Washington’s plans for total domination.

"At first glance, I can say that apparently the INF Treaty creates problems for pursuing the line towards the US total domination in military sphere," Ryabkov said, noting that the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty would be a very dangerous step, which would be definitely condemned by the international community.

"Apparently, inability and unwillingness to come to terms with us on a sound foundation push certain forces in Washington to encourage the country’s leadership to make a decision on a formal withdrawal from the treaty," TASS cited the diplomat as saying.

"This would be a very dangerous step, which, I’m sure, won’t be just understood by the international community, but arouse serious condemnation of all members of the world community, who are committed to security and stability and are ready to work on strengthening the current regimes in arms control," he stressed.

Ryabkov said that Russia expects that US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who is arriving in Moscow on Sunday, will clarify Washington’s plans on the INF Treaty.

"Today the US president’s national security advisor is arriving in Moscow. We hope during the contacts with him tomorrow and the day after tomorrow to hear more details and clarifications on what steps the US side is planning to take," Ryabkov said.

He noted that Russia condemns US attempts to achieve Moscow’s concessions in international security issues through blackmail. "We condemn the continuing attempts to achieve Russia’s concessions through blackmail, moreover in such an issue which has importance for international security and security in the nuclear weapons sphere, for maintaining strategic stability," the Deputy Foreign Minister added.

According to him, Russia strictly observes the INF Treaty and has been pointing to Washington’s violations of the arms control agreement for many years. "Therefore, these are the attempts to portray this situation as if Russia violates the treaty. But it’s not just that we do not violate it, but we strictly observe it. And we are tolerant when pointing to US blatant violations of the agreement for many years," Ryabkov concluded.

The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty banned ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500km to 5,500km. Signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev on December 8, 1987 in Washington, it led to nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles being eliminated, and an end to a dangerous standoff between US Pershing and cruise missiles and Soviet SS-20 missiles in Europe.

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