WASHINGTON – A Russian senior arms-control official says his nation is “preparing for war” over President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear missile treaty.
Andrei Belusov made the declaration after Russia lost a vote at the U.N. to gather support from other nations for the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Reduction Treaty.
“Here recently at the meeting, the United States said that Russia is preparing for war,” Belusov said after the vote.
“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.”
Trump accused Russia of not honoring the agreement last week and said the U.S. would be withdrawing.
Russia “tried to send a serious signal to U.S. political circles about the danger of the course chosen by the current (U.S.) administration,” he said. “We thought that such an initiative would be supported by all sensible forces.”
Trump has accused Russia of violating the 1987 INF treaty, which eliminates all ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 300-3,400 miles.
In 2017, White House national security officials said Russia had deployed a cruise missile in violation of the treaty. Earlier, the Obama administration accused the Russians of violating the pact by developing and testing a prohibited cruise missile.