Defense Secretary James Mattis has previously suggested that a Trump administration proposal to add a sea-launched cruise missile to Washington's nuclear arsenal could provide the USA with leverage to try to persuade Russian Federation to come back in line on the arms treaty. The U.S. has accused Russian Federation of violating the treaty for years; Russian Federation says the United States is in violation.
The minister also told the news agency RIA Novosti that if the USA continues to behave "clumsily and crudely" and backs out of global agreements, "then we will have no choice but to undertake retaliatory measures, including involving military technology".
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was completing a three-day visit to Russian Federation, hailed his talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin on October 17 and the cooperation agreement as opening a "new chapter in the history" of the countries' bilateral relations, RFE/RL reported. They've been violating it for many years. "And we're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we're not allowed to".
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying: "We are preparing a meeting with president Putin and we expect that the meeting will take place".
The treaty, which banned missiles that could travel 310 to 3,400 miles, put a term to a crisis that began in the 1980s with the deployment of Soviet SS-20 nuclear-tipped, intermediate-range ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals. Analysts say Russian Federation sees such weapons as a cheaper alternative to conventional forces. "The big picture is an intensifying geopolitical rivalry between Russian Federation and the USA on the one hand and China and the United States on the other".
Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the U.S. should consider the consequences for Europe and for future disarmament efforts of quitting the pact.
For many years, Washington has been "deliberately and step by step destroying the basis for the agreement", said the unnamed official quoted by state news agencies.
Bolton tweeted last week to announce his upcoming tour to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia, saying he will meet with counterparts and other senior officials in the four countries "to advance American interests on a range of security issues".
Bolton himself is pressuring Trump to leave the INF and has blocked talks to extend the New Start treaty on strategic missiles set to expire in 2021, according to The Guardian newspaper.
In response, then-President Barack Obama initially opted for a cautious diplomatic response that was later superseded by hawks in Congress who urged the USA develop their own treaty-violating systems, as well as implemented provisions the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists described as an "exit strategy". On Saturday, the billionaire hinted that the USA would develop missiles of the type banned under INF, saying: "We have a tremendous amount of money to play with with our military". As a non-signatory, Beijing can develop intermediate-range nuclear weapons without constraints.
Russian Federation has said little about its new missile other than to deny that it is in breach of the agreement.
On Friday, the US announced criminal charges against a Russian for alleged attempts to influence next month's midterm elections.