Russia says the United States “dreams” of becoming the world’s sole superpower by unilaterally withdrawing from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Moscow, stressing that such a dream will never come true.
President Donald Trump said on Saturday that the US was pulling out of an arms control treaty with Russia, known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which bans ground-based medium-range missiles.
That same day, Russia said there was an ulterior motive.
“The main motive is a dream of a unipolar world. Will it come true? No,” a Russian Foreign Ministry source anonymously told RIA Novosti state news agency.
The official said that Russia had “many times publicly denounced the US policy course toward dismantling the nuclear deal.” Washington “has approached this step over the course of many years by deliberately and step-by-step destroying the basis for the agreement,” the official said.
“This decision is part of the US policy course to withdraw from those international legal agreements that place equal responsibilities on it and its partners and make vulnerable its concept of its own ‘exceptionalism,’” the official added.
In withdrawing from the treaty, Trump claimed, without providing evidence, that Russia had been violating the agreement.
The INF was signed in 1986 between then-US President Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union’s then-President Mikhail Gorbachev.
The treaty banned all land-based missiles with ranges of 498 to 5,503 kilometers and included missiles carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads. The ban between Moscow and Washington led to the elimination of 2,692 such missiles.
Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov said in a tweet on Saturday that Washington’s move was “the second powerful blow against the whole system of strategic stability in the world,” with the first being a 2001 withdrawal from the Anti- Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Moscow.
“And again, the initiator of the dissolution of the agreement is the US,” Senator Pushkov said.
Since Trump took office last year, he has unilaterally pulled the US out of international treaties, conventions, and international bodies. Among them are a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, the Paris climate accord, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and a 1955 “Treaty of Amity” with Iran.
The Trump administration has also scrapped the founding convention of the International Court of Justice. It has also threatened to arrest judges of the International Criminal Court.