Bolton to Meet with Putin on Possible US Pullout from Arms Treaty

Donald Trump: US will build up nuclear arsenal

Donald Trump: US will build up nuclear arsenal

National Security Adviser John Bolton is expected to discuss Trump's plan to jettison the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

On Sunday, one of the original signatories of the INF treaty, Mikhail Gorbachev, said a United States withdrawal would reverse efforts made to achieve nuclear disarmament.

A senior Russian official voiced concerns Monday that Washington is increasing the role of nuclear weapons in its military planning as part of a stepped-up campaign by the Trump administration to ensure "U.S. military superiority over the rest of the world", while he also denied US allegations that Moscow has violated an arms treaty.

Belousov said the Trump administration explains its plans for "large-scale strengthening of its nuclear potential" by referring to the alleged growing role of nuclear weapons in Russia's military doctrine.

In talks the previous day with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, and a dinner with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, he said he discussed US plans for withdrawal from the 1987 treaty, among other issues.

Withdrawal from the treaty is also seen as a counter-move to China, which has not signed up to the deal and can therefore develop such weapons at will.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that ditching the treaty "will make the world more dangerous" and rejected United States claims that Moscow has violated the pact, instead accusing Washington of doing so.

The INF was signed in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

"This would be a very unsafe step, which, I'm sure, won't be just understood by the global community, but arouse serious condemnation of all members of the world community, who are committed to security and stability, and are ready to work on strengthening the current regimes in arms control".

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Meanwhile, in the United States itself, the threat to tear up one of the most important arms control treaties of the 20th century, opening the door to the breakdown of all such agreements and a frenzied arms race to deploy "usable" nuclear weapons, has been met with near total silence, particularly by the Democratic Party, which is ostensibly running against Trump's policies in the midterm elections.

Patrushev and Bolton also discussed issues related to a possible extension by five years of the New START arms control treaty, which expires in 2021.

"If you read President's statements [Putin], he was saying that the breach in the INF treaty forces Russian Federation to take measures in order to ensure its security". "If it continues to unilaterally withdraw from agreements, different kinds of accords and mechanisms. then we will have nothing left to do but to take retaliatory measures, including ones of military and technological nature".

We, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to Heaven. I'm terminating the agreement because they violated the agreement. Trump has repeatedly denied there was any collusion.

"They will simply croak because they won't even have time to repent".

These include China's DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), which has a maximum range of 4,000 km (2,500 miles) and which the Pentagon says can threaten USA land and sea-based forces as far away as the Pacific island of Guam.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said a unilateral withdrawal from the treaty "will have a multitude of negative effects".

US-Russia ties are under deep strain over accusations Moscow meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

Putin and Trump will both be in Paris on November 11 to attend commemorations marking 100 years since the end of first world war.

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