US Pulling Out Of Nuclear Arms Treaty With Russia
US President Donald Trump has announced that the nation will be withdrawing from the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. According to reports, National Security Adviser John Bolton will discuss the treaty with Russian officials next week. He is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Moscow.
The treaty with Russia was reached decades ago, signed in December 1987 by former President Ronald Reagan and former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachecv. The Cold-War era treaty limited the number of missiles in each country and lead to the destruction of thousands of missiles. It is set to expire in the next two years.
Under the treaty, the United States and Russia are prohibited from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles. It also covers all land-based missiles, including those carrying nuclear warheads. The treaty was sold to Americans as protecting the security of the US and its allies in Europe and the Far East.
The president says that Russia has been violating the agreement for many years. Russia has been violating the pact since at least 2014. The Defense Department said Russia has been developing an intercontinental nuclear-armed torpedo that could travel thousands of miles and strike U.S. coastal cities. US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said earlier this month, “It is time now for Russia to come to the table and stop the violations.”
President Trump said the US would pull out “and then we are going to develop the weapons” unless Russia and China agree to a new deal. China does not face any constraints on developing intermediate-range nuclear missiles in the Pacific, putting the US at a disadvantage.
Former President Obama chose to remain in the pact after objections from Germany and other European countries. Trump has already shown that type of pressure will not dissuade him, facing similar criticism when pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal in May.