President Donald Trump said Saturday he will withdraw the United States from the Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty with Russia that limits the size of each nation’s arsenal of missiles.
It will mark the first time that Trump has jettisoned a major arms control pact. He said he will scrap the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty as Russia has been violating it for many years.
«We are going to terminate the agreement and we are going to develop the weapons,» he said after an election campaign stop in Elko, Nevada.
On Friday, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration plans to tell Russia next week that it is preparing to exit the INF treaty.
The pact was signed by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in December 1987 and took effect in June 1988. It calls for the destruction of ground-based intermediate and shorter-range nuclear missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
Washington has long argued that Moscow has been violating the agreement by deploying a range of tactical nuclear weapons to intimidate former Soviet states that have aligned with the West.
Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, chose not to leave the agreement because he did not want to ignite a renewed arms race.
All — Kyodo News+