Trump’s plan to ditch INF will ‘undo decades of bipartisan arms control’ – Rand Paul

Trump’s plan to ditch INF will ‘undo decades of bipartisan arms control’ – Rand Paul
President Trump’s intention to withdraw from the Cold War-era treaty with Russia banning a wide array of nuclear weapons “would undo decades of bipartisan arms control,” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul believes.

The US president created a stir recently by vowing to pull out of what he called the “unacceptable” Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), accusing Russia of violating the agreement.

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

This raised a few eyebrows in Moscow, as well as among some of Trump’s fellow party members. The decision “would undo decades of bipartisan arms control dating from [US President Ronald] Reagan,” Republican Senator Rand Paul tweeted.

Then-President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the historic accord in Washington in 1987. The deal – which envisioned the elimination of nuclear arms with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers – was seen as a breakthrough for the rival superpowers during the Cold War.

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

Days before Trump’s announcement of plans to ditch the accord, US media outlets were already speculating about a possible withdrawal from the agreement, pointing to US National Security Adviser John Bolton as the key person advocating it. Senator Paul also gave his take on that in the tweet: “This is why John Bolton shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near US foreign policy.”

Russia castigated Washington’s attempts to use “blackmail” in international security issues. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said withdrawal from the treaty would be a “dangerous step.”

Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev painted a grimmer picture, saying scrapping the agreement would bring the international community closer to nuclear war. “Humanity is threatened with complete chaos in the field of nuclear weapons.”

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