WASHINGTON — As U.S. President Donald Trump in addition to Russian President Vladimir Putin tease on whether or not they will meet at the annual G-20 summit, a crucial nuclear weapons treaty between the entire world’s two greatest nuclear powers hangs within the balance.
Last month, Trump announced his decision to withdraw coming from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, Treaty, an agreement of which eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons coming from U.S. in addition to Russian arsenals.
Russia, Trump says, has violated the arms agreement by building in addition to fielding the banned weapons “for many years.” On behalf of the administration, national security adviser John Bolton flew to Moscow to personally deliver the decision to the Kremlin.
“This specific is usually the American position of which Russia is usually in violation,” Bolton told reporters after a meeting with Putin. “This specific is usually Russia’s position of which they are not in violation. So one has to ask, ‘How do you convince the Russians to come back into compliance with obligations they don’t think they’re violating?'”
Read more: The US in addition to Russia control the lion’s share of the entire world’s nuclear weapons
The INF treaty, signed in 1987 between President Ronald Reagan in addition to Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, prohibited the development in addition to deployment of midrange nuclear-tipped missiles. The agreement forced each country to dismantle more than 2,500 missiles with ranges of 310 to 3,420 miles coming from their arsenals.
In short, the treaty has kept nuclear-tipped missiles off the European continent for the last 30 years.
Gorbachev criticized Trump for threatening to withdraw coming from the nuclear disarmament treaty, saying the move “is usually not the work of a great mind.”
What’s more, the move rattled arms control experts who feared the scrapped treaty could spark a nuclear weapons race.
“Withdrawing coming from the INF treaty only increases the threat to allies in addition to let’s Russia off the hook,” Thomas Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic in addition to International Studies, told CNBC.
“This specific is usually a colossal mistake,” Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear-weapons analyst at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, told The Guardian. “Russia gets to violate the treaty in addition to Trump takes the blame,” he added.