U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday he wants to withdraw from the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because Russia has violated the agreement. Russian President Vladimir Putin says leaving the treaty ‘would be a very dangerous step. Trump claims that Russia has violated the terms. Russia is now warning of countermeasures if the U.S. follows through. Following the announcement, Russia’s state-run news agency, RIA Novosti, reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to discuss the decision with US national security adviser John Bolton when he visits Russia this week.
The treaty forced both countries to eliminate ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between approximately 300 and 3,400 miles. It offered a blanket of protection to the United States’ European allies and marked a watershed agreement between two nations at the center of the arms race during the Cold War. The treaty “wasn’t designed to solve all of our problems with the Soviet Union,” but was “designed to provide a measure of some strategic stability on the continent of Europe.” The Trump Administration has said repeatedly that Russia has violated the treaty and has pointed to their predecessors in the Obama administration who accused Russia of violating the terms of the agreement.