The following is an excerpt from Sho Chandra | October 20, 2018 | Bloomberg.com |
President Donald Trump said he plans to pull out of a major arms control treaty with Russia, claiming the Kremlin breached the accord on intermediate-range nuclear weapons.
“We’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement,” Trump said Saturday after a campaign rally in Elko, Nevada. “We’re going to terminate the agreement.”
Trump’s threat prompted a Russian demand for explanations, concern in Germany and a warning by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with then President Ronald Reagan in 1987. U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson was quoted as blaming Russia for the standoff.
The U.S. has been warning Russia it could resort to strong countermeasures unless Moscow complies with international commitments to arms reduction under the INF treaty, which is considered a landmark of Cold War detente.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense ministers this month discussed concerns that Russia was developing a medium-range ballistic missile. The U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, has said Russia’s non-compliance would compel the U.S. to match its capabilities to protect the interests of the U.S. and European allies.
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