President Donald Trump has confirmed that the US will pull out of an arms control treaty with Russia dating from the cold war that limited the number of nuclear missiles in the two nations, accusing Moscow of violating the deal.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty was one of those agreements and is set to expire in the next two years. The 1987 pact helps protect the security of the US and its allies in Europe and the Far East.
It prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles. It also covers all land-based missiles, including those carrying nuclear warheads.
"We're going to terminate the agreement and we're going to pull out," Trump told reporters Saturday in Nevada when asked about the reports that his National Security Advisor John Bolton wants the US to pull out of the three-decade-old treaty.
The INF treaty was signed between the then US president Ronald Reagan and his USSR counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.
The Pentagon has been supportive of the INF treaty but Defense Secretary James Mattis warned other NATO ministers earlier this month it would no longer be tenable if Russia did not withdraw its Novator ground-based missile, which the US has argued for nearly four years violates the...