Vladimir Putin-Donald Trump bromance to continue in Paris

"We're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and do weapons and we're not allowed to", Trump said in Nevada Saturday.

He said there was no evidence that the meddling materially affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, but that it did create mistrust towards Russian Federation and provide a strong lesson to the Kremlin: "Don't mess with American elections".

"It's a threat to whoever you want, and it includes China, and it includes Russian Federation and it includes anybody else that wants to play that game". You can't do that. You can't play that game on me, " Trump asserted.

"We will build it (nuclear arsenal) up".

In China, some observers have a more subdued opinion on China's capabilities vis-á-vis the USA and its allies.

"For many years, China has mostly relied on land-based nuclear weapons as its strategic deterrent", Zhao wrote.

Bolton has said he thinks the treaty is outdated because it does not cover countries such as China, Iran and North Korea, which he says remain free to make intermediate-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

"We're the ones who have stayed in the agreement and we've honoured the agreement, but Russian Federation has not unfortunately honoured the agreement, so we're going to terminate the agreement and we're going to pull out", he told reporters.

He pointed out that the world was now "multipolar" and that other nations, specifically China, had taken advantage of the US-Russia Cold War-era treaty that banned medium-range missiles. John Bolton voiced his agreement with this sentiment.

The treaty was signed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. "We also have the same readiness and intention". "This should have been done years ago".

Noting that the U.S. is already investing more than United States dollars 1 trillion to modernize its nuclear arsenal, including developing a new air-launched cruise missile and a unsafe "low-yield" ballistic missile, she said USA does not need to spend more money on more nuclear weapons.

Bolton responded: "I didn't bring any more olives".

For several years, Washington has accused Russian Federation of violating the INF Treaty, which banned an entire class of nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500km.

"The position was very firmly announced by Russian Federation that they did not believe that they were breaching the INF treaty".

Mr Trump echoed the comments, saying he would probably meet with Mr Putin next month after the mid-term elections. The European Commission has urged the United States and Russian Federation to pursue talks to save the treaty.

Trump also has extended an invitation to Putin to visit Washington, which administration officials said could yield a second full summit next year. "US withdrawal therefore has the potential to exacerbate current US-EU tensions".

But Liu Weidong, a USA affairs expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the United States might not start building up short and medium-range land-based missiles even if it pulled out of the pact because such a programme would be costly.

For the defense industry, the death knell of the INF agreement doesn't move the needle much, said analyst Byron Callan, of Capital Alpha Partners.

Bell doubted that a withdrawal from the treaty would cause a serious rupture of the current strategic balance. "This would have the effect of removing their existing anti-access area denial strategy". It was a major landmark for nuclear nonproliferation; as the Arms Control Association explains, "The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification". "The deployment of short or intermediate ground-based missiles to, say, Japan would add to United States capabilities in the region and erode the Chinese advantage, which has been built over decades", Ni said. How are we going to try and counter that?

He emphasized that the danger to Europe isn't the prospective US withdrawal from the pact but "the threat is the Russian missiles already deployed".

The agreement has helped eliminate thousands of land-based missiles from the United States and Russian Federation, and Trump's plans have raised concerns of a renewed arms race between the two nations.

He added that Russian Federation and the US should build up their co-operation in Syria that helped to prevent major incidents in the sky or on the ground. "Until they come to their senses".

  • Tracy Klein