President Donald Trump revealed Saturday the United States intends to withdraw from a 31-year-old nuclear weapons agreement with Russia, delivering a severe blow to the arms control regime that helped preserve peace since the Cold War.
“We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out,” Trump told reporters after a rally in Elko, Nevada, without indicating what the next steps might be.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, first signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev in December 1987, was the first and only nuclear arms control agreement that ever eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons. The treaty forced the superpowers to scrap more than 2,600 missiles with ranges 310 to 3,420 miles — weapons considered destabilizing to the European continent because of their capability to launch a nuclear strike from anywhere without early warning.
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