U.S. withdrawal of INF treaty paves way for new arms race

Posted October 26, 2018

Mr Trump said on Saturday: 'We've honoured the agreement, but Russian Federation has not ... so we're going to terminate the agreement.' He did not provide details on the violations.

He added: "There would be nothing left except an arms race".

Also on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Heiko Maas discussed the situation around the possible USA withdrawal from the INF Treaty in a phone conversation.

Bolton has always been a critic of the treaty, citing Russian violations of the pact in the form of the development and deployment of a missile the Russians designate as the 9M729.

Ushakov explained that both Presidents will hold the bilateral meeting after the celebration events in Paris.

The Russian leader joked that the U.S. seal showed an eagle carrying olives branches and arrows. Putin asked with a laugh.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Trump on Sunday to stress the importance of the treaty, his office said on Monday. Maas said there is understandable anxiety about Russia's failure to address allegations it is violating the treaty.

Speaking at a press conference after meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Putin spoke about Washington's decision to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The US official said the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, a key Soviet-era agreement abandoned by George W. Bush, was previously considered a cornerstone of global security, but that the world had remained safe without it.

The stern statement follows U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement over the weekend that he intends to opt out of a 1987 nuclear arms control pact over alleged Russian violations.

Starting in 2014, officials in the Obama administration said Russian Federation had illegally deployed land-based cruise missiles capable of striking targets in Eastern Europe.

"If the United States does withdraw from the INF treaty, the main question is what they will do with these (intermediate-range) missiles that will once again appear".

"So we will make the precise arrangements on that", Bolton said.

It banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles), both nuclear and conventional.

Duda, whose country is a close USA ally, said Trump is "speaking of a firm reaction" and that "in the light of such attitude on Russia's part, it is understandable". It could also reach targets across Europe and even the U.S. West Coast if stationed in Siberia.

While rejecting the United States president's claim that Russian Federation breached the INF treaty, Putin said that the USA missile defense facilities in Romania hold "intermediate-range cruise missiles with just a tweak in computer software". He warned that the US will begin developing such weapons unless Russian Federation and China agree not to possess or develop them. He cited efforts in weapons development by China, Iran and others not bound by the restrictions of the INF Treaty.

The Russian president said that if Washington moved to abandon the INF and placed more missiles in Europe, Russia would respond "in kind".

During the 90-minute meeting, Putin took Washington to task over what he called "unprovoked actions" against Moscow.

He expressed hope that he would manage to discuss this issue with the U.S. President Trump in Paris on November 11.

Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, warned on Sunday that a unilateral US withdrawal from the treaty "would be a very unsafe step".

"Trump's threat of an arms race comes on the heels of his weekend announcement that the USA would be withdrawing from the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russian Federation because Moscow had violated the Cold War-era agreement".