The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty commits only Washington and Moscow and leaves Beijing with the possibility of developing new weapons. US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s visit to Moscow offers little hope.
Moscow (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The arrival in Moscow of US National Security Adviser John Bolton, where he is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, comes with little hope.
Bolton will try to explain to his Russian hosts Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.
The latter, in an interview with the Interfax news agency, said that cancelling the treaty “shows a lack of wisdom", as it goes against efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament.
Trump’s decision to leave the INF Treaty was motivated, according to the US president, by the fact that Russia violated the agreement.
In 2014, President Obama accused Russia of breaching the INF after it allegedly tested a ground-launched cruise missile. He reportedly chose not to withdraw from the treaty under pressure from European leaders, who said such a move could restart an arms race.
The Kremlin called the US decision "a very dangerous step", echoed by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, who called President Trump's decision wrong.
China itself appears to be one of the factors that led to the US decision. The Treaty, in fact, binds Washington and Moscow, but leaves Beijing free to develop and deploy medium-range nuclear missiles.
According to the US, this would put it at a disadvantage in its growing military rivalry with China.
In making his announcement on Saturday Trump said, "We are going to terminate the agreement and then we are going to develop the weapons," unless Russia and China agree to a new agreement.