USA withdrawal from nuclear arms deal 'dangerous step', says Moscow


Russian Federation has always been accused of violating the treaty, prompting calls from some defense hawks in the United States to end us participation in the deal. The INF committed the USA and the USSR (and since 1991, Russia) to terminating stocks of missiles and land-based launchers with ranges between 500 and 1,000 km and 1,000-5,500 km, respectively, and prohibited the missile technologies' development.

"We're the ones who have stayed in the agreement and we've honored the agreement, but Russian Federation has not unfortunately honored the agreement, so we're going to terminate the agreement and we're going to pull out", Trump told reporters in Elko, Nevada.

A Kremlin spokesman said Russian President Vladimir Putin would seek answers about the planned withdrawal when he meets John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, for scheduled talks in Moscow this week.

Trump said the United States will develop the weapons unless Russian Federation and China agree to a halt on development. "And we are tolerant when pointing to United States blatant violations of the agreement for many years", he said.

A report published by The New York Times on Saturday said that if the USA did leave the treaty, it was likely to deploy a version of the Tomahawk cruise missile that has been redesigned so it can be launched from land.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied allegations that it has produced and tested such a missile.

Trump said Moscow has not been adhering to the pact.

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"This would be a very unsafe step, which, I'm sure, won't be just understood by the global community, but arouse serious condemnation of all members of the world community, who are committed to security and stability and are ready to work on strengthening the current regimes in arms control", said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, according to state-run news agency Tass.

Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union", noting that he had heard that the Trump administration wanted to pull out of not only the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces, or INF, Treaty, but also New START.

Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said "there's no question" Russian Federation is violating the treaty.

President Donald Trump must think twice and carefully assess all consequences before finally tearing up the landmark nuclear disarmament agreement (INF) with Russia, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Sunday.

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of MA, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said pulling out of the treaty would play into Russia's hands, undermine US security and betray NATO allies.

Trump didn't provide details about violations. However, Ushakov said there is no plan so far to organize a new Russia-U.S. summit. Because China was not a signatory to the treaty, it has faced no limits on developing intermediate-range nuclear missiles, which can travel thousands of miles. As with North Korea, left-leaning foreign policy experts immediately predicted that the United States would fall under nuclear threat.

Bolton tweeted last week to announce his upcoming tour to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia, saying he will meet with counterparts and other senior officials in the four countries "to advance American interests on a range of security issues".