Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev strongly criticized US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a 1987 landmark nuclear weapons treaty, who said the US administration does not know what it is doing.
Calling the move ‘not the work of a great mind’, Gorbachev said Trump’s decision was “very strange” and a mistake.
“Do they really not understand in Washington what this can lead to?” Gorbachev told Russian news agency Interfax on Sunday, adding that the decision “will undermine all the efforts that were made by the leaders of the USSR and the United States themselves to achieve nuclear disarmament.”
Gorbachev said that “Washington’s aspiration to turn politics back cannot be supported, this must be declared not only by Russia, but by all who cherish the world, especially the world without nuclear weapons.”
Gorbachev said that “all agreements aimed at nuclear disarmament and the limitation of nuclear weapons must be preserved for the sake of life on Earth.”
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed in 1987 by then-US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General-Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in Washington.
It banned nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500km, as well as their launchers.
The two countries have consistently accused one another of violating the terms of the treaty.
“Russia has not adhered to the agreement,” Trump told reporters in Elko, Nevada, and did not disclose any further details.
“We’re going to terminate the treaty and we’re going to pull out,” he said.
When asked what that meant in practice, he said” “We’ll have to develop those weapons.”
Trump made the comments as his National Security Adviser John Bolton was in Moscow to meet Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, before what is expected to be the second summit between Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, later this year.