US officials said they are no longer hamstrung and could now develop weapons systems previously banned under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia, a Cold War-era agreement that both sides repeatedly accused the other of violating. The treaty was also criticized because it did not cover China or missile technology that did not exist a generation ago, according to AP.
US President Donald Trump on August 2 told reporters he would like to establish a new accord with Russia that would reduce all nuclear forces, and possibly with China involved as well.
China rejected suggestions by the US president Donald.
Zhang Jun, China's ambassador to the United Nations, said Beijing regretted the scrapping of the INF treaty but that he did not see Beijing acting on Trump’s call to be a part of a new arms accord.
Zhang said that "the United States is saying China should be a party in this disarmament agreement, but I think everybody knows that China is not at the same level with the United States and the Russian Federation."
The end of the treaty comes amid rising doubts about whether the two countries will extend an agreement on long-range nuclear weapons scheduled to expire in 2021.
The Trump administration, which gave its six-month notice on Feb. 2 of its pending withdrawal from the INF, had repeatedly claimed Russia was violating its provisions, an accusation President Barack Obama made as well.
“The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in announcing the formal withdrawal, calling a Russian missile system prohibited under the agreement a “direct threat to the United States and our allies.”
The end of the INF is another milestone in the deterioration of relations between the US and Russia.
“The denunciation of the INF treaty confirms that the US has embarked on destroying all international agreements that do not suit them for one reason or another,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “This leads to the actual dismantling of the existing arms control system.”