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

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,