Trump: I’m Terminating Nuclear Arms Pact With Russia ‘Because They Violated the Agreement’

• October 22, 2018 4:59 pm


President Donald Trump announced plans on Monday to cancel the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty as a result of Russia violating the agreement.

"I'm terminating the agreement because they violated the agreement," Trump told reporters before he left for a campaign rally scheduled in Texas.

The Cold War-era treaty, which eliminated nuclear missiles from Europe, was negotiated by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The treaty dictated both countries to eliminate their short-range and intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles.

Trump added that the U.S. will build up its nuclear arsenal until "people come to their senses."

"This should have been done years ago. Until people come to their senses, we have more money than anybody else by far. We'll build it up," Trump said. "When they do, then we'll all be smart and we'll all stop. And by the way, not only stop, we'll reduce, which I would love to do. But right now, they have not adhered to the agreement."

"Is that a threat to Vladimir Putin?" one reporter asked.

"It's a threat to whoever you want. And it includes China. And it includes Russia. And it includes anybody else that wants to play that game. You can't do that. You can't play that game on me," Trump responded.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called Trump's decision to withdraw from the treaty "very dangerous" and said will lead to a "military-technical" retaliation.

"Until [the Russians] get smart. They have not adhered to the spirit of that agreement or to the agreement itself, Russia. China's not included in the agreement; they should be included in the agreement. Until they get smart, there will be nobody that's going to be even close to us," Trump said.

A reporter asked Trump if he discussed the issue with allies, to which the president said he hasn't and that he doesn't have to.