Ex Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev slams Trump’s decision to quit arms pact

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Russian Federation and the United States have repeatedly accused each other of violating the treaty. "We call on all the parties to avoid any hasty unilateral decisions, which would be regrettable", the ministry said in a statement.

Trump has accused Moscow of violating the treaty "for many years" and warned Russian Federation and China, which is not a signatory to the agreement, to cease their development of ground-launched tactical nuclear missiles, otherwise the USA will restart its own program. While China claims to possess only a few hundred warheads, global observers estimate that the true size could be in the thousands, putting it on par with the United States and Russian Federation.

He said: "If the United States does withdraw from the INF treaty, the main question is what they will do with these [intermediate-range] missiles that will once again appear".

He made an acerbic reference to the United States coat of arms at the start of his meeting with Mr Bolton, jokily complaining that "we barely respond to any of your steps but they keep on coming".

Without the treaty, some European countries fear that Washington might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe again and that Russian Federation might move to deploy such missiles in its exclave of Kaliningrad which would once again turn Europe into a potential nuclear battlefield.

Putin, speaking in Moscow, warned North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries that would host the missiles "that they would expose their territory to the threat of a possible retaliatory strike".

"I don't foresee that allies will deploy more nuclear weapons in Europe as a response to the new Russian missile", Stoltenberg told reporters at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters in Brussels.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets USA national security adviser John Bolton during a meeting at the Kremlin on Tuesday. So we're going to terminate the agreement.

"I don't understand why we should put Europe in such a grave danger", he said.

Maxwell Downman, nuclear policy analyst for the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), a London-based thinktank that promotes nuclear disarmament, agreed with Pfier. Bolton said the administration hasn't decided on a second wave of sanctions for Russia's chemical weapons use scheduled for November.

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But the pressure of the end of the INF Treaty falls squarely on Europe, Downman explained. If they are delivered to Europe and place them there, we will have to make a mirroring response.

This could place extra stress on already-strained relations between the United States and the Trump administration's protectionist policies.

The US' tentative withdrawal from the INF Treaty comes at a time when far-right populism - a political movement Russian Federation has supported, is making gains in national elections across Europe. That's a huge loss to both countries but mostly to Russian Federation.

The treaty was signed by former US President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.

"The reality is, the treaty was outmoded, being violated and being ignored by other countries", Bolton said.

The deal is simply unattractive to Trump, "given that China is not constrained and Russian Federation isn't following the rules, and that's enough for him to want out", Levine continued. China wasn't a party to the treaty.

"We are ready to work with our American partners without any hysterics", he added.

The goal of preventing nuclear strikes in Europe is a worthy one, but Trump's claims that Russian Federation has repeatedly violated the terms of the INF Treaty are correct.

Washington will press ahead with a plan to quit a landmark nuclear arms control pact.

"NATO's military activities near our borders have reached the highest level since the Cold War times", Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said, noting that the war games will be "simulating offensive military action". "I think something good can come out of that".