Trump’s decision to withdraw from US-Russia nuclear treaty ‘blackmail’: China

Donald Trump and nuclear explosion

WARNING Trump has vowed to expand his nuclear arsenal in the face of Russia and China

US intelligence agencies say Russian Federation carried out a campaign of hacking and propaganda targeting the 2016 poll in an attempt to sow discord, discredit Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and boost support for Republican Donald Trump.

"Russia has violated the agreement".

Trump says Russian Federation has violated terms of the treaty, which prohibits the USA and Russian Federation from possessing or creating nuclear cruise missiles with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles.

But speaking at a news conference after his talks with Putin, Bolton gave no indication of any change of course on the INF treaty.

The landmark accord was brokered by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev to address the threat of nuclear weapons. "I don't think that's necessarily what Donald Trump wants, but he's blundering into that direction with the path he's taking with withdrawal from INF".

U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials have long criticized Russian Federation for testing a cruise missile that they say is banned under the accord.

Bolton was planned before the Saturday announcement by President Donald Trump that the US was ditching the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, known as the INF, a move Moscow has already denounced as "dangerous".

"Talking about China on the issue of unilaterally pulling out of the treaty is completely mistaken", spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

That would add to the military options available to the United States - which can already carry out precise strikes globally - in the event of a conflict between America and China, they added. In fact they said: "'You are breaching the INF treaty, '" Bolton said in an interview with Kommersant, a Russian broadsheet. I'm terminating the agreement because they violated the agreement.

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The Kremlin denied any such violation and suggested that it was Washington - and not Moscow - that had failed to comply with the pact.

Under the 1987 agreement, the US and the former Soviet Union committed to eliminate all ground-based nuclear and conventional missiles with a range between 500 to 5,550 kilometers (310 to 3,420 miles). In weapons speak, that means 500 to 5,500 kilometers, so, for instance, from Russian Federation to Western Europe and vice versa, but not from Russian Federation to Los Angeles.

On Monday, Bolton discussed the fate of the treaty with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and spent "nearly five hours" in talks with Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev, a spokesman for the council told AFP.

Beijing is not a signatory to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). "But until they get smart, there's nobody that's going to be even close to us".

Collin Koh, a maritime security specialist at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said reinstating ground-launched intermediate range missiles would give the U.S. a needed boost, not only for nuclear strikes but also conventional operations.

Still, Belousov said, "we are prepared to work together with our USA colleagues on the entire set of problems regarding the INF". Bolton spoke with two Russian media outlets while in Moscow, emphasizing his belief that Russia is violating the agreement.

Yet the over-arching concern of many arms control experts is that the United States decision on INF will set the stage for mounting tensions and unbridled efforts by the major powers to out-arm each other with nuclear weapons.

Gorbachev, now 87, has warned that unravelling it could have catastrophic consequences.

Trump's announcement has raised concerns globally, with the European Commission urging the United States and Russian Federation to pursue talks to preserve the treaty and Beijing calling on Washington to "think twice". "Actually, we reduced the role of nuclear weapons to the historic minimum". "Constrained in part by our adherence to the INF treaty, the U.S. has fallen behind in our ability to match the long-range fire capabilities of the new era".

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