Published: Fri, October 26, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Pakistan to remain neutral in US-Russia row

Pakistan to remain neutral in US-Russia row

The Russian president also said his last meeting with Mr. Trump in Helsinki in July was useful despite their tough discussions, adding that he would be open to meet with Trump in France "if the US side is interested in such contacts".

Mr Stoltenberg was speaking after US President Donald Trump said on Monday he was ready to build up the US nuclear arsenal in response to Russia's SSC-8 missile programme (known in Russian Federation as the 9M729).

The analysis noted that Russian Federation has countered by accusing the USA of itself violating the INF by deploying a "component" of the so-called Mark 41 Vertical Launch System, using other "banned missiles" in military tests, and asserting that American armed drones are effectively banned cruise missiles - all allegations that Washington denies.

During the meeting, Putin alluded to the US coat of arms, which shows an eagle holding a bundle of 13 arrows in one talon and an olive branch with 13 olives in another. Laughing merrily, Putin asked if the eagle ate all the olives.

Signed in 1987, the INF resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.

The goal of preventing nuclear strikes in Europe is a worthy one, but Trump's claims that Russian Federation has repeatedly violated the terms of the INF Treaty are correct.

Beijing rebuked Trump, with the foreign ministry saying it would not be blackmailed into joining the treaty. It bans either the USA or Russian Federation from possessing, producing or test-firing ground-launched nuclear cruise missiles with a range of between 480 and 5,500 kilometers.

Bolton has said the treaty is outdated because other countries remain free to make intermediate-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles while the United States finds its hands tied.

The European Union says the pact is a cornerstone of European security and is urging Russian Federation and the United States to uphold it, but Stoltenberg did not encourage the USA, the biggest and most influential member of NATO, to stay in the treaty.

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The United States mulling to pull out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty will fret over the possibility of a new round of arms race worldwide, said USA experts.

At a post-summit news conference alongside Mr Putin, Mr Trump questioned the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russian Federation had tried to influence the vote.

Britain stands "absolutely resolute" with the U.S., Williamson told the British media, "in hammering home a clear message that Russian Federation needs to respect the treaty obligation that it signed". He warned that the US will begin developing such weapons unless Russian Federation and China agree not to possess or develop them.

In 2011, Bolton argued in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that the USA should either expand the treaty to cover China or "abrogate it entirely so that we can rebuild our own deterrent capabilities".

National Security adviser John Bolton attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow on October 23, 2018.

But Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III is still conducting his investigation; for instance, his team and Trump's counsel reportedly have discussed the president submitting written answers to some questions. "We don't know anything about their concrete plans, where and when they might deploy their new systems".

The INF treaty - signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 - helped lower tensions in the Cold War, and Putin fears that a withdrawal by the United States would set relations back decades.

Shoigu also said in comments carried by Russian news agencies on Tuesday that Russia and the US also should build up on their cooperation in Syria.

"NATO's military activities near our borders have reached the highest level since the Cold War times", Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said, noting that the war games will be "simulating offensive military action".

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