By Umar Farooq
WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he will pull the country out of a nuclear arms agreement with Russia.
The deal being referred to is the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, ratified in 1987 by the U.S. and the then-Soviet Union, which eliminated all nuclear missiles and launchers with a range of 310 – 3,420 miles (500 – 5,500 kilometers).
Trump spoke to reporters after a campaign rally in Nevada, and said that "Russia has violated the agreement."
"We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out," Trump added.
Trump's remarks come as National Security Adviser John Bolton prepares to travel to Moscow early next week to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The pact has made it difficult for the U.S. to develop new weapons to combat China's attempt to impose nuclear dominance over the Western Pacific region.
China is not a part of the agreement, and therefore is not restricted in the development of nuclear missiles.
The president went further to criticize former President Barack Obama for staying in the agreement, noting that Russia has been developing weapons that had been banned as part of the deal.
Trump did not give a timeline as to when the U.S. would officially remove themselves from the INF.