Russia says it is ‘preparing for war’ following U.S. withdrawal from missile treaty

Breck Dumas

A top Russian official has declared that the country is preparing for war, following President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would be withdrawing from a Cold War-era disarmament treaty.

What are the details?

According to the U.K.’s Sunday Express, the First Committee of the U.N. General Assembly voted Friday against Russia’s proposal to save the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) between its country and the U.S., following President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would be unilaterally withdrawing from the 1987 agreement.

In response, Deputy head of the Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Minister, Andrei Belousov, told the U.N., “Here recently at the meeting, the United States said that Russia is preparing for war. Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I have confirmed it.”

“We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people — we are preparing for such a war,” he reiterated.

Belousov explained, “Linguistically, this difference is in just one word, both in Russian and in English; Russia is preparing for war, and the U.S. is preparing a war.

“Otherwise, why would the United States withdraw from the treaty, build up its nuclear potential and adopt a new nuclear doctrine?” he asked.

According to the Daily Mail, the 31 countries voted in favor of supporting the INF, 55 voted against it, and another 54 abstained.

Anything else?

Russia and the United States have each accused the other of violating the INF, which was signed by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Speaking at a recent rally in Nevada, President Trump said, “Russia has not, unfortunately, honored the agreement so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out. We’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we’re not allowed to.”

Mr. Gorbachev responded via an editorial in The New York Times, saying, “I am being asked whether I feel bitter watching the demise of what I worked so hard to achieve. But this is not a personal matter. Much more is at stake. A new arms race has been announced.”