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Gorbachev warns Trump against ditching nuke deal: ‘Quitting INF a mistake’

22 October 2018 7:38

 

Trump’s decision to ditch a Cold War-era nuclear weapons agreement with Russia could lead to the collapse of the current non-proliferation mechanism, Russia has warned.

Trump said Saturday that he was planning to abandon the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a key arms control treaty that has been in place since 1986, over claims that Moscow violated it.

The decision drew criticism from former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the original document with Ronald Reagan, his American counterpart at the time.

Condemning the move as a “mistake,” Gorbachev said it demonstrated Trump’s “lack of wisdom.”

“Under no circumstances should we tear up old disarmament agreements. … Do they really not understand in Washington what this could lead to?” Gorbachev was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Interfax on Sunday. “Quitting the INF is a mistake.”

Gorbachev said Trump was undermining all the past efforts made between the two countries to fulfill nuclear disarmament.

War a possibility

Konstantin Kosachev, a senior lawmaker who chairs the Russian Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Sunday that the move was going to hurt similar control measures and pit mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.”

“Now the US Western allies face a choice: Either embarking on the same path, possibly leading to new war, or siding with common sense, at least for the sake of their self-preservation instinct,” he warned.

The treaty banned all land-based missiles with ranges of 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,420 miles) and included missiles carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads. The original ban between Moscow and Washington led to the elimination of 2,692 missiles.

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