Moscow / Washington – US President Donald Trump announced the decision to withdraw from the ‘Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty’ (INF) alleging Russia of violating it. Infuriated by the decision, Russia warned the United States that the decision taken would be a very dangerous step. Russia has also threatened the US saying that there would be a tit-for-tat response for the unilateral decision of the United States. The retaliation could even be through the military. The developments have occurred while the US National Security Advisor John Bolton is on his Russia visit.
US President Donald Trump declared the pullout from the INF in the presence of the press. While making the announcement, President Trump criticized Russia as well as former President, Barack Obama. ‘Russia has repeatedly violated the INF Treaty. The violation has continued for many years. I am at a loss to understand why Obama avoided acting against it, despite having knowledge of it. Nevertheless, I will not let this continue. It is precisely why the United States is withdrawing from the treaty’, said Trump.
President Trump made the announcement while US National Security Advisor John Bolton is still in Russia. Bolton is scheduled to meet with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and is claimed would discuss the sanctions against North Korea. Also, an important meeting is scheduled between the US President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin around the coming year-end. In view of this scheduled meeting, Russia and the United States were expected to share some information about it. However, President Trump has created a sensation with the announcement to walk away from the INF Treaty. Russia has severely criticized Trump’s decision.
‘This is a very serious issue and cannot be discussed in public. Earlier, the United States had unilaterally withdrawn from the ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’ as well. It has treated the other agreements just the same. The US’ unilateral decisions would not receive acceptance from other countries and the United States must not ignore it’, warned Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. ‘The unilateral decisions by the United States are jolting the international security and stability. Therefore, if it continues to take such unilateral decisions, Russia would have to think of other alternatives and this could even mean a military alternative,’ threatened the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister.
In 1987, the then US President Ronald Reagan and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev had signed the INF Treaty. The agreement banned the United States and Russia from testing and deployment of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The treaty is said to have ensured the safety of the European countries particularly the eastern European nations. However, it is slated to expire in the next two years.
Even so, President Trump has announced that the United States instead of renewing it in 2021, will withdrawal from the treaty. The military analysts in the United States have claimed that the increased Russian nuclear movements and President Putin’s aggressive announcements are responsible for President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the treaty.