MOSCOW – National Security Advisor John R. Bolton is in Moscow this week to explain President Trump's decision to withdraw from a 1987 arms control pact
. Trump and his hardliners, especially Mr. Bolton, have long expressed their displeasure with the agreement, the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, because they say that Russia violates the terms and that China is not a signatory.
"If Russia does not come to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and say, 'let's all be smart and do not let those weapons develop'," America would retreat and build new nuclear weapons, Mr. Trump said after a Saturday election campaign
The Kremlin's proposal and response raised immediate questions about an aging arms control treaty that few people under the age of 30 knew existed. Is it really that important that his downfall trigger a global arms race?
What is the I.N.F. Contract
The treaty solved a crisis of the 1980s when the Soviet Union instituted a rocket in Europe called SS-20 capable of carrying three nuclear warheads. The United States responded with cruise missiles and Pershing II missiles.
By the time President Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the then Soviet leader, cut the deal to ban weapons in 1987, the medium-range missiles had arrived because of their short flight times – as short as ten minutes – as hair-raising for nuclear war be seen.
This was particularly troubling for the Soviet command, which could be canceled by a "bolt from the blue sky" could command a retaliatory strike. Partly in response to this shortcoming, Moscow developed a "dead-end" trigger to fire its arsenal in the United States without a command from the leadership, based on computers that interpret radiation and seismic sensors.
2014, during the Ukraine crisis, a government newspaper published an article stating that this system uses "artificial intelligence" to command a nuclear war, but was still operational in peacetime.
The contract prohibited land-based cruise or ballistic missiles with ranges between 311 miles and 3,420 miles. It was not about airborne or sea-based weapons, such as the American Tomahawk and Russian calibrated cruise missiles fired from ships, submarines, and airplanes, and could easily cover similar distances.
Is Russia actually cheating?
It certainly seems like that. It was the Obama administration that first accused Russia of violating the treaty in 2014 when the crisis in Ukraine increased tensions. US officials say Moscow is quite openly using a banned rocket the West calls the SSC-8 a land-based cruise missile that threatens European nations.
Even during the Obama administration, the United States argued that Russia was violating the treaty because they had used banned tactical nuclear weapons to intimidate Europe and the states of the former Soviet republics that had joined the West.
But the Trump government's biggest concern could be in Asia, where the 1980s lay The pact is now forcing the United States to land short- and medium-range missiles to respond to China's efforts to raise an area of influence and naval forces to keep in check in the Western Pacific. The agreement, which was weighed on Monday, said they also opposed the unilateral withdrawal of the US , Bolton, speaking to the radio station "Echo of Moscow" in Moscow, replied: "The Chinese are not participating in this agreement and want to preserve it."
That was no surprise, he said, adding, "If I were Chinese I would say the same thing."
How did Russia react?
In short, with warnings of an arms race and other apocalyptic threats.
Addressing the possibility of a United States withdrawal earlier this month, President Vladimir V. Putin has reflected on the nuclear armageddon and said that the Russians are ready to retaliate because they know they are in nuclear war to go to heaven.
"The aggressors should know: Revenge is inevitable and they will be destroyed." Mr Putin has said. "And we, as victims of aggression, will go straight to heaven as martyrs while they are simply croaking."
Others were a little more reserved.
"Any action in this area will trigger a reaction," Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, told reporters before a meeting with Mr. Bolton.
That ranged from official warnings of a new arms race, with an outside expert who threatened that Russia would develop a swarm of small drone bombs hit the United States, to the allusions that the move on the eve of the midterm elections in the United States was a bluff was. On Monday, Mr Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, denied that Russia had violated the treaty and said that, on the contrary, it was the Americans who had broken their spirits. Russia argues that US missile defense batteries could be used in Europe to fire offensive weapons, and that United States armed drones fly within areas prohibited by the contract for cruise missiles.
With Mr. Bolton in the city, Rossiskaya Gazeta, the government newspaper, led an article under the headline " Trump becomes blackmail," suggesting that he applies the same harsh tactics as trade agreements to a nuclear deal ,
What do Europeans think of the topic? Curiously enough, although Russia's new Intermediate Range rockets are threatening Europe, European leaders protested loudly against the withdrawal from the treaty.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement that the treaty was "an important pillar of our Europe's security architecture," while numerous analysts have stated that the issue has the potential to create a new wedge between the United States and Europe at a time Tantalizing Relationships with Trans-A
Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for the European Union's foreign and security policy, said in a statement that "the United States and the Russian Federation must continue to engage in constructive dialogue the INF Treaty, "because" the world does not need a new arms race. "
But Russia is preparing to deploy a hypersonic missile that is not covered by existing arms control agreements, with China deploying medium-range missiles and the United States responding by modifying Cruise missiles are used i n Asia, many experts claim that the world is already engaged in one.