US may pull out of nuclear arms control treaty with Russia that prevented proliferation: Report


WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (APP):The Trump administration is preparing to pull the US out of a landmark treaty it signed with Russia decades ago that prevented proliferation of intermediate-range nuclear capable missiles and forced the two countries to destroy 2,692 weapons, The New York Times reported.
While the White House said there was no official decision yet, the paper quoted unnamed sources as saying that President Trump was expected sign off on withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed in 1986 by then American President Ronald Regan and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev.
The report came as the US National Security Adviser John Bolton travelled to Russia for talks with top Russian officials on a variety of high-priority issues, including the conflict in Syria and alleged Russian meddling in US elections.
NYT said that Bolton was preparing to tell Russian President Vladimir Putin that the US would no longer be part of the arms control treaty.
In a strong indication of the impending development, the US ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison last week blamed Russia for violating the INF treaty, saying it was now time for Moscow to discuss and stop the violation.
The INF bans all land-based missile with ranges of 310 to 3,420 missile that can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads. The original treaty led to the destruction of 2,692 missile between Russia and the US.
China is not a signatory to the treaty and, therefore, faces no limitation on developing intermediate-range nuclear missiles but the report alleged that Russia had been violating the pact since 2014.
If scrapped, it would mark the first reversal by President Trump from an arms control treaty, months after he pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, which was not the similar pact and was designed to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons.
Bolton, during his meetings with the Russian officials, was expected to hold discussions on a number of issues, including the sale of Russia-made S-300 missile defense system to Syria in spite of warnings from the Trump administration. Issues like Iran, denuclearization of North Korea and nuclear arms treaties were also likely to come up during the high-profile discussions.
A report in the online news portal The Hill said that Bolton also planned to warn Russia against interfering in US elections, ahead of mid-term polls slated for November. The US Department of Justice on Friday charged a Russian woman with participating in a conspiracy to influence the November polls.