first published on October 21, 2018 by Will
President Trump announced Saturday that he would be pulling the US out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty because the Russians have continuously violated it.
“Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years,” Trump said. “…we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we’re not allowed to.”
“We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out … and then we are going to develop the weapons,” he also said.
In 2014, President Obama called the Russians out for violating the treaty after they tested a ground-launched nuclear-capable cruise missile. However, Obama didn’t pull out of the agreement on grounds that he didn’t want to start an arms race.
Fast forward four years and the Russians are still advancing their nuclear arms in violation of the agreement.
The INF Treaty banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of 310 to 3,400 miles.
Russia condemned the decision. “This would be a very dangerous step, which, I’m sure, won’t be just understood by the international 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,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Russia has previously denied violating the treaty.
Trump said he would be open to a new deal and suggested China would have to be involved in it as well.