Europe

US security chief Bolton in Moscow for talks on nuclear treaty

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US National Security Advisor John Bolton has met Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev as part of his two-day visit to the Russian capital.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton has conducted talks in Moscow with the chief of Russia's Security Council after the US announced that it was unilaterally pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The treaty, signed between the United States and the then-Soviet Union in 1987, had sought to restrict short and medium-range nuclear-armed missiles.

Bolton met Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev as part of his two-day visit to the Russian capital, state media reported.

US President Donald Trump announced that the US was pulling out of the agreement on an accusation that Russia had been violating it.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it expected Bolton to explain the United States' further plans for such nuclear weapons during his visit to Moscow.

Russia hopes "to hear more details and clarifications on what steps the US side is planning to take," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

US President Donald Trump and the Russian leader Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet again this year.
US President Donald Trump and the Russian leader Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet again this year.
AAP

Ryabkov accused the US of trying to force Russia into concessions on international security issues through "blackmail."

The US and Russia have long accused one another of violating the terms of the treaty.

Washington bases its accusation on Russia's development of the Novator 9M729 cruise missile, which has a range of 2,600 kilometres.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that a NATO missile shield in Romania has the capability of launching a nuclear missile at any time.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the treaty with then-US counterpart Ronald Reagan, said Trump's decision to withdraw is reckless and not the work of a great mind, the Russian news agency Interfax reported.

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