WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said he would withdraw with Russia from a Cold War Treaty on Saturday the number of rockets in each country.
Trump said that Moscow has violated the Nuclear Forces Intermediate Range Treaty and will stop the agreement.
"We will terminate the agreement and we will retire," Trump said as he left a rally in Nevada on Saturday afternoon. He said that the US would withdraw "and then we will develop the weapons," unless Russia and China agree to a new agreement, even though China is not currently a party to the agreement.
"Russia violated the agreement, they have been hurting it for many years," said the president. "And we will not let them violate a nuclear deal and go out and do guns, and we can not do that either."
During most of the Cold War era, the US-Russia Summit was dominated by the issue of nuclear weapons, with Presidents Nixon, Carter and Reagan making a series of incremental agreements to increase the number, size and location of the nuclear arsenal of each side.
The Mid-Range Nuclear Missile Treaty was one of these agreements and will expire in the next two years. The 1987 Pact helped protect the security of the US and its allies in Europe and the Far East.
It bans the United States and Russia to own, produce or test a ground-based cruise missile with a range of 300 tons 3,400 miles. It also includes all land-based missiles, including those carrying nuclear warheads.
"The INF contract is likely to have entered its final days, which is unfortunate," said Steven Pifer, chief executive of the Brookings Institution and former US Ambassador to the Ukraine.
Pifer, who writes about the news in one piece for the Brookings Institution, said Trump's decision meant that the US was being held responsible for breaking an agreement designed to make the world a safer place.
The groundbreaking treaty signed by Ronald Reagan helped destroy thousands of missiles and dampen tensions during the Cold War.
But the US has been accusing Russia of violating it for years and rapidly expanding and expanding its weapons inventories. Meanwhile, Trump says the US is restricted by the agreement and prevents the nation from catching up.
The Ministry of Defense in February described some of Russia's progress in a report that also called on the US to develop two new additional nuclear weapons to keep other world powers, including China, in check.
More: calls for new nuclear weapons as Russia develops nuclear-armed torpedoes
More: Report: Russian missile strike violates treaty
One of the weapons that the defense ministry said Russia created an intercontinental nuclear-powered torpedo that can travel thousands of miles and hit US coastal cities with minimal warning.
Called the "Status 6 Oceanic Multipurpose System", the Russian torpedo is said to be capable of producing a thermonuclear cobalt bomb of up to 100 megatons. The weapon could trigger a tsunami wave of radioactive water that would cover a coastal city. Politicians have called the torpedo a "Doomsday" weapon.
The President said progress, including that of China, was "unacceptable".
"We need to develop these weapons unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and everyone comes to us and say that we are getting really smart and that we are not developing these weapons, but if Russia does and If China does and we abide by the agreement, that is unacceptable, "said Trump.
The President went on to say that he would like to stay in the pact, but if "as long as someone violates the agreement, we are not the only ones who stick to it."
The problem, Pifer said, is, that if the US withdraws from the treaty, there is no reason for Russia to stop creating and testing new weapons Russia's emergency aid must be promoted.
"The US withdrawal from the INF Treaty is thus a loser everywhere," he said. "Russian officials are probably celebrating the news."
Trump made the announcement on Saturday after a campaign stop in Elko, Nevada
National Security adviser Ser John Bolton was headed to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia on Saturday.
Contribution: Associated Press
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