United States withdrawal of INF treaty paves way for new arms race

President Donald Trump addresses a

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Speaking at the start of Tuesday's meeting with Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, Putin said that it's important to maintain Russia-U.S. dialogue despite their differences.

"If all this is dismantled, then nothing will be left when it comes to limiting the increase in arms", Putin said at a news conference after talks in Moscow with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government voiced immediate concern over US President Donald Trump's threats to pull out of the INF nuclear arms treaty with Russian Federation. Laughing, Putin asked if the eagle ate all the olives.

Lawmakers from both parties instantly criticized Trump over his actions in Finland, including his repeated siding with Putin over US intelligence agencies over the Kremlin's 2016 election interference campaign.

"Hopefully I'll have some answers for you", Bolton replied. "But I didn't bring any more olives".

"That's what I thought", Putin quipped. And Germany has advised against the scrapping of the treaty, saying it will be placed in a tough spot by the USA abandonment.

Putin said he hoped the United States wouldn't follow up by positioning intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the Western military alliance's members blame Russian Federation for developing a new missile in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, but he doesn't expect them to beef up nuclear arsenals in Europe in response.

"The main question is, if the United States does withdraw from this treaty, what will it do with these newly emerging missiles?"

In turn, China has developed several intermediate-range weapons, including the Dongfeng-26, which threatens regional and global stability.

But both sides have accused the other of violating the treaty in recent years.

The United States insists that the new Russian system - known as the 9M729 - contravenes the 1987 INF treaty and NATO allies agree that is probably the case.

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Russian Federation has the option of deploying intermediate-range missiles in its European exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, a move that would put a swath of Europe in range.

"It was not true then and it will not be true now", he said.

Last week, Putin said a nuclear strike against Russian Federation would unleash a "global catastrophe" because "retaliation is inevitable" on the part of his country. It says Washington is the one violating it.

The agreement halts Washington from creating further nuclear weapons.

"It is the USA that wants to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty, but it makes an issue out of other countries", she said.

Russian Federation will attack any nation that agrees to house and launch USA intermediate-range missiles, Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday. He may want to consider having an arms control treaty with Russian Federation that would include both the intermediate range and the larger ones.

The ties with the US have not been that friendly but this month, the two countries agreed to move forward as Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met US National Security Advisor John Bolton and his American counterpart Mike Pompeo.

He added that election interference was "a major obstacle" to achieving agreement on issues where the two countries have a shared interest.

Bolton arrived in Russian Federation on Monday when he met Security Council chairman Nikolai Patrushev.

In the meetings, Qureshi tried to convince the US leaders that Pak-US cooperation was vital for regional peace in South Asia. However, he noted that the 29 allies were assessing "the implications of the new Russian missile for our security".

But scrapping the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty also serves another key Trump goal: intensifying military pressure on China. The removal of such destabilizing weapons would in theory allow more time for decision-making in case of a warning of a missile attack.

"The threat is not America's INF withdrawal from the treaty".

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