PRESIDENT Donald Trump has warned that the US will bolster its nuclear arsenal to put pressure on Russia and China.
Speaking to reporters, he claimed again that Russia has violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which he has threatened to leave.
The Cold War-era treaty banned medium-range missiles, reducing the perceived Soviet threat to European nations.
Mr Trump said the US would build up its arsenal “until people come to their senses”.
He added: “It’s a threat to whoever you want to include China and it includes Russia and it includes anybody else that wants to play that game… [Russia has] not adhered to the spirit of that agreement or to the agreement itself.”
Russia denies breaking the INF and has warned it will respond in kind if the US develops more weapons.
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Signed by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the 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 Gorbachev, now 87, has warned that unravelling it could have catastrophic consequences.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Trump’s withdrawal plan a matter of deep concern for Moscow.
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