US President Donald Trump confirmed his decision to pull the US from a landmark arms control treaty with Russia during the State of the Union address last night.
The INF treaty, signed in 1987 by then-US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, bans the production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500km.
“While we followed the agreement and the rules to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms,” Trump said on Tuesday night.
If a new treaty is to be negotiated, many believe that it will be necessary to include China, as it has grown exponentially as a global superpower since the original INF agreement was signed.
“There’s a chance that diplomacy could prevent the worst case, which is an unconstrained arms race in Europe,” said Alexander Vershbow, former Deputy Secretary General of the NATO.
Estonian MEP Yana Toom said on Raw Politics that we cannot rule out the possibility that the US and Russia may have pulled out of the INF treaty with the intention of creating a new agreement with China.