US national security advisor pressures end to bilateral disarmament treaties on Caucasus tour

US national security advisor pressures end to bilateral disarmament treaties on Caucasus tour

US National Security Advisor John Bolton arrives in Moscow today. He will meet with President Vladimir Putin as the Trump

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Photo: Reuters

US National Security Advisor John Bolton arrives in Moscow today. He will meet with President Vladimir Putin as the Trump administration considers withdrawing from a bilateral nuclear treaty with Russia.

Bolton and other members of the Trump administration have alleged that Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty through their deployment of new categories of cruise missile have eliminated goodwill from the US to begin discussions on a new nuclear treaty. The INF faces expiration next year along with a Congressional requirement for the Trump administration to report on its final progress. The treaty governing medium-range nuclear missiles has come under pressure from the US which has accused Russia violating its terms. This comes despite both countries undergoing nuclear modernisation programmes, adding to growing unease in Europe over the future of nuclear arms control.

In addition to the INF, Bolton has also expressed opposition to extensions to the 2010 New Start Treaty, and raises the prospect that its 2020 expiration could also be used to withdraw. A US withdrawal from the INF arms treaty would renew fears about Washington’s commitment to European security. Such a result is expected to spark increased deployments and spending on new nuclear capabilities.

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