14:42 GMT +320 November 2018
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    A bundle of three Soviet RSD-10 missiles prepared for demolition at the Kapustin Yar launch site. The missiles were destroyed in accordance with the INF Treaty.

    Italian, German Politicians Hope US, Russia May Renegotiate INF Treaty

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    ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) - Gianmatteo Ferrari of Italy's Lega party expressed hope in comments to Sputnik that the United States and Russia may still rescue their Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, even after the US decision to pull out from it, to avert new threats to peace.

    "I hope that if President Trump wants to change the nuclear weapons treaty, he will come to an agreement with Russia. The planet certainly does not need new threats," Ferrari said.

    He argued that Trump’s decision to abandon unilaterally the 1987 agreement was "certainly not good news either for Europe or for the whole world."

    The European politician suggested this was merely an electoral campaign stunt by Trump, whose Republicans face an uphill battle in November to maintain their grip on the parliament.

    "I do not understand this decision by President Trump. I hope it's just an electoral throw in anticipation of the mid-term elections," he said.

    Roland Hartwig, the vice-chair of the AfD party's group in the German parliament, echoed Ferrari in that the US decision to end the nuclear treaty did not bode well for world peace.

    "Its announced termination by the US sends a clear message to Russia and the world that the era of disarmament is coming to an end," he told Sputnik.

    Hartwig said the administration of US President Donald Trump was bent on achieving military superiority and did not want to be bound by a pact that did not include China, its rival in the Western Pacific.

    "Military strength and even military superiority over other nations seem to become an integral component of Trump's policy aimed at making the US great again. Against this background the lack of clear and convincing evidence of Russia violating the INF seems to be subordinated," he said.

    "Obviously the US is planning to develop new intermediate-range nuclear forces… As a consequence the international stability and disarmament may be seriously damaged by the termination of the INF," he concluded.

    READ MORE: UK Ready to Back US Plans to Exit INF Treaty to Send 'Clear Message' to Russia

    The comments followed the announcement made by US President Donald Trump earlier, saying that he wanted to pull out of the Cold War-era treaty over Russia’s alleged violations. The move needs to be ratified by Congress, which is heading into midterm polls.

    The INF Treaty, a major arms control agreement, was signed by former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and then-US President Ronald Reagan back in 1987, when the Cold War between the two nations was still ongoing. The two sides agreed to destroy all cruise or ground-launched ballistic missiles that have ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310 and 3,400 miles).

    READ MORE: 'Major Blow' to Global Stability: Russian Lawmakers React to Trump's INF Pullout

    Moscow and Washington decided that the treaty would have an unlimited duration and each side could terminate it by providing compelling evidence substantiating its decision.

    Tags:
    INF treaty, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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