Trump vows to pull US out of ‘unacceptable’ nuclear missile deal with Russia

The US will pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia, AP reports President Donald Trump saying. He cited Russia’s alleged treaty violations, while at the same time vowing to “develop the weapons.”

"We are going to terminate the agreement and then we are going to develop the weapons" unless Russia and China agree to a new deal, Trump said on Saturday. Although Trump claims that Russia has violated the deal, he provided no evidence of that claim during his Saturday announcement.

Trump made the announcement following a campaign stop in Elko, Nevada, just one day after the Guardian reported that National Security Adviser John Bolton was pushing the president to leave the treaty. 

Russia has repeatedly said it will keep strictly observing the INF treaty as long as the US does. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in October 2017 that any withdrawal from Washington would see an "immediate and mirror-like" response from Moscow.

Meanwhile the White House administration, which is pursuing a quite aggressive nuclear arsenal modernization strategy, has already authorized plans to develop a medium-range missile outlined in the Trump administration's Nuclear Posture Review. Speaking on Saturday, the President said the US will “have to develop those weapons,” also drawing Beijing into the nuclear brawl.

“Unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and they say, ‘Let’s all of us get smart and let’s none of us develop those weapons,’” Trump said, “but if Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable. So we have a tremendous amount of money to play with our military.”

Futile dream of ‘unipolar world’

While the Kremlin has yet to offer an official reaction to Trump’s bold move, Russian lawmakers and a Foreign Ministry source condemned the US intention to jeopardize global security and draw Russia into a new arms race.

“This decision is in line with the US course to quit international agreements, which... make the concept of its own 'exclusivity' vulnerable,” a source in the Foreign Ministry told Sputnik, explaining that Moscow is not surprised by the White House decision to scrap the nuclear deal. 

The main motive is the dream of a unipolar world. Will that come true? No.

Russian lawmakers, meanwhile, stressed that Trump aims to drag the US into a new arms race with Russia.

“It is obvious that the United States has no evidence proving Russia’s violations of the treaty’s provisions,” a member of the Russian parliament's upper house's defense committee, Frants Klintsevich, told Sputnik. The United States “wants to drag us, like the Soviet Union, into an arms race. It will not succeed.”

READ MORE: Itch for ‘better INF deal’? Trump’s treaty ‘withdrawal symptom’ destabilizes global order

“The US is returning the world to the Cold War,” Senator Aleksey Pushkov wrote on Twitter. “Russia will not allow nuclear superiority over itself. Only this can prevent possible nuclear aggression.”

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