Published: Tue, October 23, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

US pullout from nuclear treaty with Russia also targets China

US pullout from nuclear treaty with Russia also targets China

Trump, if he follows through with his threat and tears down the landmark treaty, signed between US President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, "won't do us any good", Paul said. "The US withdrawal from the INF will convince Russia's leadership more than ever that the Americans can not be trusted, and will also lead to Russia, Iran and other countries uniting, leaving the US isolated", Izadi said. "This should have been done years ago".

Asked if that were a threat to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump said: "It's a threat to whoever you want". And it includes China. "And it includes anybody else who wants to play that game. And it includes anybody else that wants to play that game". "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".

"But Russia has not, unfortunately, honoured the agreement".

Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, warned on Sunday that a unilateral US withdrawal from the treaty "would be a very unsafe step". Bolton met with his counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, on Monday.

"You can't bring somebody into compliance who does not think they are in breach", he said, adding the treaty seems to have run its course.

The INF treaty, which came into effect in 1998, is one of the few obstacles still standing in the way of nuclear proliferation after the U.S. withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) in 2002, the other one being the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).

Bolton told Kommersant that Washington wanted to "resolve the INF issue first".

But some United States military officials have asserted for months that if China was unwilling to sign on to the treaty American forces will be "hamstrung" by Beijing's growing arsenal of ground-based missiles - 90 per cent of which would be outlawed if it were a party to the treaty - and need the freedom to boost their own missile forces in the region.

At issue is Moscow's new 9M729 ground-based missile system, which Washington says has a reach that exceeds 500km - a claim the Kremlin denies.

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"There are more questions than answers", he told journalists.

Ryabkov told Sputnik that Russian Federation would adopt a number of retaliatory measures if the United States continues to unilaterally withdraw from agreements.

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.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said a unilateral withdrawal from the treaty "will have a multitude of negative effects". If these systems are in development, action from other countries is required.

Its demise could raise the prospect of a new arms race, and Gorbachev, now 87, has warned that unraveling it could have catastrophic consequences.

"It was a great victory that we managed to get as far as making decisions enshrined in these...treaties that got rid of nuclear weapons and warheads", Gorbachev said.

It banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles), both nuclear and conventional.

Speaking to Sputnik Persian, Fuad Izadi, an American politics specialist and fellow at the Institute of World Studies at the Institute of Law & Political Sciences at Tehran University, explained that the U.S. decision will leave it isolated, convincing Moscow that Washington is not trustworthy.

Even as Mr. Trump has blamed Russian violations of the treaty for his decision, he has also pointed a finger at China.

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