INF Treaty: Would US dropout begin an arms race with China?

President Donald Trump talks to media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Wednesday Sept. 19 2018 for the short trip to Andrews Air Force Base en route to Havelock N.C

President Donald Trump talks to media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Wednesday Sept. 19 2018 for the short trip to Andrews Air Force Base en route to Havelock N.C

Bolton spoke to Patrushev about the possible United States withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), other nuclear and chemical weapons treaties, the Open Skies Treaty, and regional issues including Iran, North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine and the fight against global terrorism, drug-trafficking and illegal immigration.

"In fact, both the president and Mr Bolton made a decision to abandon mutual accusations and hold this serious, normal substantive conversation, and they did", he said, according to Interfax. "I would say that if you do see Donald Trump re-elected and his national security adviser remains John Bolton, I think it's a better than even chance that New START is not extended", he said.

Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov said the meeting between Mr Putin and Mr Bolton was "interesting" but said the American's presence displayed Washington's willingness to maintain a dialogue with Moscow. Without renewal, that treaty would expire in 2021. "We think they continue to be the world's central banker of worldwide terrorism", Bolton said, according to a transcript. I'm terminating the agreement, he had said.

By signing the agreement, Washington and Moscow swore off from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range between 500 and 5,500km.

In its latest Nuclear Posture Review published in February 2018, the Pentagon said: "In the nuclear context, the most significant Russian violation involves a system banned" by the INF 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.

Saying, "you can't call it an existing viable treaty if the Russians have been violating it for a number of years", Mr. Miller argues that by staying in the INF the USA is achieving "unilateral restraint - not arms control".

Meanwhile, the Kremlin said today the nuclear arms treaty Washington wants to quit had its weak points but warned against what it called President Trump's risky approach of talking of withdrawal without proposing a replacement. But right now, they have not adhered to the agreement, " Trump said. China wasn't a party to the pact that was signed in 1987 by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. But we're going to get to the bottom of it.

Bolton responded: "I didn't bring any more olives". "Scrapping the treaty forces Russian Federation to take steps for its own security".

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"The withdrawal from the treaty would prove again that the US political and military authorities prioritize their foreign policy goals by obsessively striving to ensure the USA military superiority over the rest of the world", Belousov said.

Without the restrictions of the 1987 treaty, China has had a free hand developing and deploying intermediate-range nuclear missiles of its own, including missiles created to take out USA aircraft carriers patrolling the waters of the Western Pacific.

Indeed, Russian officials met Trump's announcement of his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the treaty with warnings that such a move risks setting off a new round of arms deployments in Europe.

"So we will make the precise arrangements on that", Bolton said.

Bolton says the U.S.is going ahead with its plan to pull out of the nuclear arms pact, calling it outdated.

In the meantime, some experts say, the USA simply does not need to abrogate the INF treaty in order to address the growing challenge of China's land-based nuclear-tipped missiles. "So under that view, exactly one country was constrained by the INF Treaty: the United States".

Andrei Belousov, deputy director of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control, told the U.N. General Assembly's disarmament committee that Russian Federation is "especially concerned" at the Trump administration's Nuclear Posture Review.

It could also force Beijing into a costly arms race. He cited efforts in weapons development by China, Iran and others not bound by the restrictions of the INF Treaty.

Trump's announcement has triggered fears of a nuclear arms race.

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