A day after President Trump announced his intention to scrap a landmark arms control deal with Russia, the Kremlin called the pullout "a very dangerous step." Trump is sending national security adviser John Bolton to Moscow to meet with Russian leaders, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and was to relay Trump's decision. Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as telling state news agency Tass on Sunday that a US withdrawal "will cause the most serious condemnation from all members of the international community who are committed to security and stability." The 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty bars the US and Russia from possessing, producing, or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 miles to 3,400 miles, reports the AP.
Britain said it stood "absolutely resolute" with the US, while Germany called Trump's move "regrettable." Heiko Maas said Sunday that the three-decades-old treaty is "an important pillar of our European security architecture." Maas says Germany has repeatedly urged Moscow to "clear up the serious allegations of breaching the INF treaty, which Russia has so far not done." He says Germany is urging Washington to "consider the possible consequences" of its decision, including for a US-Russian nuclear disarmament treaty beyond 2021. But Britain's defense secretary, Gavin Williamson, blamed Russia for making a "mockery" of the pact and called on the Kremlin to "get its house in order." Independent Russian political analyst, Dmitry Oreshkin said, "We are slowly slipping back to the situation of cold war as it was at the end of the Soviet Union, but now it could be worse because (Russian President Vladimir) Putin belongs to a generation that had no war under its belt."
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