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U.S. to formally quit arms control treaty "in due course" - Bolton

2018-10-23 23:05
Washington is pressing ahead with its plan to quit a nuclear arms control pact, senior U.S. official John Bolton said on Tuesday (October 23), signaling that a meeting with Russian leader President Vladimir Putin had not deflected the White House from its plan. Bolton had a 90-minute meeting in the Kremlin with Putin, at which the Russian leader had taken the White House to task over what he said were a series of unprovoked steps against Moscow. Russia has said that if U.S. President Donald Trump makes good his threat to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF), Moscow will be forced to respond in kind to restore the military balance. Speaking at a news conference after his talks with Putin, Bolton, who is national security advisor to Trump, gave no indication of any change of course on the INF treaty. Signed by then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan and reformist Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, the INF treaty required the elimination of all short- and intermediate-range land-based nuclear and conventional missiles held by both countries in Europe. Its demise could raise the prospect of a new arms race and of Europe once again hosting U.S. land-based ballistic and cruise missiles.