President Donald Trump confirmed on Saturday that the United States would be leaving a Cold War-era nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union. . .
The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987. It bans either nation from creating ground-launch nuclear missiles capable of hitting a target within a range of 500 km to 5,500 km. The treaty led to the destruction of 2,700 nuclear missiles between the two nations. It also offered assurance to U.S. allies in Europe.
After finishing a rally in Nevada on Saturday, Trump told reporters “We’ll have to develop those weapons,” adding “we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.”
On Friday, The Guardian reported that National Security Adviser John Bolton was pushing for the U.S. to withdraw from this treaty. The treaty has an expiration date of 2021, but Russia has already expressed interest in renewing the pact.
The U.S. has accused the Russians of already violating the treaty with its 9M729 cruise missiles. On Oct. 2, U.S. ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said that Russia was “on notice” because of its use of these missiles, and that the United States “would be looking at the capability to take out a (Russian) missile that could hit any of our countries” referring to NATO member nations that would be in range of missiles banned by the 1987 treaty. (Read more from “Trump Announces That the U.S. Will Leave a Cold War-Era Disarmament Treaty With Russia” HERE)