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21 Oct, 2018 13:58

Gorbachev: Trump’s move to quit INF is ‘narrow-minded’, a clear ‘mistake’

Gorbachev: Trump’s move to quit INF is ‘narrow-minded’, a clear ‘mistake’

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the INF treaty with then-US President Ronald Reagan, says Washington’s move to withdraw from it is a “mistake” and “a narrow-minded” decision.

Giving his take on President Donald Trump’s ambitious plan to scrap the historic Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), one of the “fathers” of the accord berated the current US leader.

“It’s completely unacceptable to break the old treaties on disarmament,” Gorbachev told Interfax.

Doubling down on his criticism, the first and only president of the Soviet Union said: “It can’t be that hard to understand that discarding such agreements ‘is narrow-minded,’ as they say.” Gorbachev said Trump’s move is a mistake which would “undermine all the efforts, made by the leaders of the USSR and the US itself to reach nuclear disarmament.”

Similar evaluations of Trump’s actions were given by top Russian officials. The head of the Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, warned that the US’ move will pave the way to “complete chaos” in terms of nuclear weapons.

“Now the US Western allies face a choice: either embarking on the same path, possibly leading to new war, or siding with common sense, at least for the sake of their self-preservation instinct,” he said.

While the US allies appear to be slow in reacting to Trump’s decision, Berlin has already expressed concern over the consequences of dismantling the INF.

“The treaty... has for 30 years been an important pillar of our European security architecture,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement on Sunday. Berlin has repeatedly addressed Moscow over “serious allegations that it [Russia] is violating the agreement,” Maas said. But now, he cautioned, Germany urges “the US to consider the possible consequences.”

The “allegations” were cited by Trump on Saturday as he announced his decision, claiming yet again that Moscow has not “honored” the deal. Moscow has denied the claims, demanding actual proof from the US, while accusing Washington itself of dodging the INF restrictions.

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