The pact had been widely proclaimed as a beacon of hope when it was signed back in 1987 by then U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as they agreed to limit the use of conventional and nuclear medium-range missiles. "In terms of nuclear [weapons], China is much lower, but we would certainly want to include China at some point".
Responding to questions about how he would avoid a nuclear arms race following the INF treaty's demise, Mr Trump said his administration had been speaking to Russian Federation "about a pact for nuclear, so that they get rid of some, we get rid of some". He further noted that Allies remain firmly committed to the preservation of effective global arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.
- The U.S. "realizes that they're destroying the entire worldwide security system because they want to build a new world order", said Konstantin Sokolov, a geopolitical expert at the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.
Pompeo said, "Russia failed to return to full and verified compliance through the destruction of its noncompliant missile system". Russian Federation denies it has cheated, and counters with a contention that America's armed drones and missile defense system in Europe are violations.
But the U.S. might eventually want to base such weapons in Europe as a counterbalance to Russian Federation, or in Asia to counter China.
The new Pentagon chief did not specify where the USA meant to deploy these weapons.
But the president said "we didn't discuss the INF" when he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
"If we could get a pact where they reduce and we reduce nuclear, that would be a good thing for the world".
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NATO allies said in a statement that Russian Federation remains in violation of the INF Treaty, "despite years of USA and Allied engagement", adding that they fully support the United States decision to withdraw.
USA officials argued that not only was Russian Federation violating the treaty and developing prohibited weapons, but that China also was making similar non-compliant weapons, leaving the US alone in complying with the aging arms control pact.
The Trump administration stressed it was Russia's fault the treaty came to an end, pointing out that Moscow has been developing and fielding weapons that violate the treaty and threaten the US and its allies, particularly in Europe.
"The traditional sense of an arms race has been in a nuclear context", he said. "Because of the rise of China and because of Russia's willingness to use the nuclear card in bullying its neighbors, we now have to think seriously not only about modernizing our nuclear forces but also anti-ballistic missile defense".
Trump has called New START "just another bad deal" made by the Obama administration, and Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said in June that it's unlikely the administration will agree to extend the treaty for five years, which could be done without legislative action in either capital.
On Thursday, Trump said he was open to negotiations.
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, meanwhile, wrote on Twitter: "I regret the ending of the INF Treaty, which has served our security for over 30 years". Under the conditions of this treaty, both nations promised that they would not create any ground-launch nuclear missiles capable of hitting a target within a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. "They'd like to do something, and so would I", Trump said.
"We are urging the U.S. to abandon [plans] to deploy the missiles of these ranges it is creating, which is unfortunately now being discussed by the Pentagon, and follow Russia's example, taking all the necessary steps to ensure global stability and predictability", the ministry said in a statement.