Trump says USA will pull out of intermediate range nuke pact

Russians will "go to heaven" as martyrs in the event of nuclear war because Moscow will only ever use nuclear weapons in retaliation, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. The Kremlin said the pullout "would be a very risky step".

A senior Trump administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said another potential date would be when the presidents both attend the Group of 20 meeting on November 30 to December 1.

Gorbachev told Interfax that Trump's plan is a "very weird" mistake. The U.S. and Russian Federation own the lion's share of the world's nukes with a combined total of approximately 13,350 nuclear weapons.

"Quitting the INF is a mistake".

Visiting the USA on official business, he said "Our close and longterm ally, of course, is the United States and we will be absolutely resolute with the U.S. in hammering home a clear message that Russian Federation needs to respect the treaty obligation that it signed".

The 1987 pact prohibits the United States and Russian Federation from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 miles to 3,400 miles.

"China is likely to respond to the U.S. withdrawal by using it as justification for its own military build-up", he said.

China's foreign ministry on Sunday did not reply to a request for comment on the USA decision to leave the INF.

USA authorities believe Moscow is developing and has deployed a ground-launched system in breach of the INF treaty that could allow it to launch a nuclear strike on Europe at short notice.

By signing the agreement, Washington and Moscow swore off from possessing, producing or test-flying a groud-launched cruise missile with a range between 500 and 5,500km.

"Russia has violated the agreement".

"We're gonna pull out", the president told reporters following a Nevada campaign stop.

Liu Weidong, a United States affairs expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Trump's move would give the USA military more freedom in terms of the development and deployment of conventional and nuclear weapons.

"We are going to terminate the agreement and we are going to develop the weapons".

China is not part of the pact.

Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton arrived in Moscow on Sunday and is set to meet Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Tass news agency that the USA move would be "a very risky step".

"It would naturally mean a global catastrophe, but I want to emphasize that we can't be those who initiate it because we don't foresee a preventive strike", Putin said.

Trump has accused Russian Federation of building and testing missiles that violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty - better known as the INF pact.

Trump didn't provide details about violations.

Germany "regrets the planned withdrawal" and it will require discussion among NATO countries, a government spokeswoman said, calling the treaty "an important element of arms control".

In the past, the Obama administration worked to convince Moscow to respect the INF treaty, but made little progress.

The U.S. has been warning Russian Federation it could resort to strong countermeasures unless Moscow complies with worldwide commitments to arms reduction under the INF treaty, which is considered a landmark of Cold War detente.

  • Joey Payne