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Donald Trump Confirms Exit From Decade Old 'INF' Nuclear Arms Treaty

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 0
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| October 21 , 2018 , 14:48 IST

United States President Donald Trump on Saturday revealed Saturday the United States intends to withdraw from a 31-year-old nuclear weapons agreement with Russia.

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 the ones who have stayed in the agreement and we've honored the agreement, but Russia has not unfortunately honored the agreement, so we're going to terminate the agreement and we're going to pull out," Trump told reporters in Elko, Nevada.

Earlier this month, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the military alliance remained "concerned about Russia's lack of respect for its international commitments, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the INF Treaty".

Moscow's failure to adhere to the agreement was also addressed in the most recent Nuclear Posture Review published by the US Defence Department in February, which said Russia "continues to violate a series of arms control treaties and commitments".

However, pulling out of the treaty could provoke a similar arms race across Europe akin to the one that was occurring when the agreement was initially signed in the 1980s, a foreign media report read.