Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trump says US will pull out of nuclear arms deal with Russia



Trump says US will pull out of nuclear arms deal with Russia

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
US President Donald Trump (left) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin leave at the end of a joint press conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki on July 16. YURI KADOBNO/AFP

Trump says US will pull out of nuclear arms deal with Russia

President Donald Trump confirmed Saturday that the US plans to leave a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, which criticised the move as Washington’s latest effort to be the sole global superpower.

Trump claims Russia has long violated the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, known as the INF, was signed in 1987 by president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

But a foreign ministry source told the RIA Novosti state news agency that Washington’s “main motive is a dream of a unipolar world”, one that won’t be realised.

“We’re the ones who have stayed in the agreement and we’ve honoured the agreement, but Russia has not unfortunately honoured the agreement, so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out,” Trump told reporters.

“Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years. I don’t know why president [Barack] Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out. And we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons [while] we’re not allowed to.”

Trump spoke as his National Security Advisor John Bolton was set to meet next week with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, ahead of what is expected to be a second summit between Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin this year.

Bolton was also set to meet with Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Putin aide Yuri Ushakov. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a “possible meeting” was being prepared between Putin and Bolton.

US or Russia at fault?

The Trump administration has complained of Moscow’s deployment of 9M729 missiles, which Washington says cam travel more than 310 miles (500km), and thus violate the INF treaty.

The treaty, which banned missiles that could travel 310 to 3,400 miles (5,471 kilometres), put a term to a crisis that began in the 1980s with the deployment of Soviet SS-20 nuclear-tipped, intermediate-range ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.

The Russian foreign ministry official accused Washington of implementing policy “toward dismantling the nuclear deal”.

Washington “has approached this step over the course of many years by deliberately and step by step destroying the basis for the agreement”, the official said, quoted by Russia’s three main news agencies.

“This decision is part of the US policy course to withdraw from those international legal agreements that place equal responsibilities on it and its partners and make vulnerable its concept of its own ‘exceptionalism,’” the official said.

Russian senator Alexei Pushkov wrote on Twitter that the move was “the second powerful blow against the whole system of strategic stability in the world” with the first being Washington’s 2001 withdrawal from the Anti- Ballistic Missile treaty.”

“And again the initiator of the dissolution of the agreement is the US,” Pushkov wrote.

‘Deep strain’

Bolton himself is pressuring Trump to leave the INF and has blocked any negotiations to extend the New Start treaty on strategic missiles set to expire in 2021, according to the Guardian.

A US withdrawal from the INF could also target China. As a non-signatory, Beijing can develop without constraints intermediate-range nuclear weapons.

US-Russia ties are under deep strain over accusations that Moscow meddled in the 2016 presidential election, as well as tension over Russian support for the Syrian government in the country’s civil war, and the conflict in Ukraine.

However, Washington is looking for support from Moscow in finding resolutions to the Syria war and putting pressure on both Iran and North Korea.

No new summit between Trump and Putin has been announced, but one is expected in the near future.

The two leaders will be in Paris on November 11 to attend commemorations marking the end of World War I.

A senior Trump administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said another potential date would be when the presidents both attend the Group of 20 meeting on November 30 to December 1. AFP

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement