Bolton reaffirms to Putin decision to withdraw US from arms control treaty

Bolton reaffirms to Putin decision to withdraw US from arms control treaty
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White House National Security Adviser John Bolton in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday reaffirmed the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia.

Bolton told reporters during a press conference with Putin that a formal notice of withdrawal “will be filed in due course.” He added that Russian violations of the treaty were a “major factor in our decision to withdraw.” 

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The Kremlin denies violating the treaty and slammed the decision to pull out of the deal.

“Of course there are weak points (in the treaty), but tearing up the agreement without plans for anything new is what we don’t welcome,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, according to Reuters.

"To first reject the document and then (talk of) ephemeral possibilities to conclude a new one is a dangerous stance," Peskov added.

Putin confirmed to reporters that he and Trump would meet next month on the sidelines of World War I memorial events in France.

The landmark deal, which was signed between former President Reagan and General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, is an agreement that allows the U.S. to counter Chinese efforts to accumulate arms in the Pacific but prevents Washington from deploying new weapons in response.

China is not a signatory to the deal, and the Trump administration has accused Russia of violating the deal in the past. 

Russia’s “decision to violate the INF Treaty and other commitments all clearly indicate that Russia has rebuffed repeated U.S. efforts to reduce the salience, role, and number of nuclear weapons,” the administration wrote in a nuclear strategy document earlier this year.

The pact bans all land-based missiles with ranges of 310 to 3,420 miles and includes missiles carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads. The original ban between Moscow and Washington resulted in 2,692 missiles being destroyed.