U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and his Russian counterpart, Security Council chairman Nikolai Patrushev, discussed a range of arms control issues in Moscow on Monday, including the INF and a possible five-year extension of another pivotal arms control agreement between Russia and the U.S. - the New START Treaty, according to a statement from the Russian council.
Russian Federation condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to pull out of a decades-long nuclear deal signed between the two countries during the Cold War.
Later on Tuesday, he also held a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, who complained that it was "surprising to see how the United States is taking absolutely unprovoked steps towards Russian Federation, which we can not describe as friendly".
Trump said his threat of increasing America's nuclear stockpile was not just directed at Russian Federation, but at China and "anybody else that wants to play that game". This fresh bluster from Washington comes as the U.S. and China are taking increasingly adversarial positions on trade and geopolitical influence in the Asia Pacific.
A Putin spokesman says a US pullout from the INF treaty would make the world a more unsafe place. -China relations have deteriorated on virtually every front, from trade to cyber-security to geopolitical flash points like Taiwan and the South China Sea. "There are no issues that are immune from bilateral tensions".
Beijing is not a signatory to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
In the meantime, some experts say, the United States simply does not need to abrogate the INF treaty in order to address the growing challenge of China's land-based nuclear-tipped missiles. Trump on Saturday cited China's missile arsenal as another reason for scrapping the accord, a concern that Peskov echoed in his remarks Monday.
Bolton, however, said Britain, Japan, and a number of other countries supported the U.S. position. The UK voiced its approval, accusing Russian Federation of non-compliance with the treaty.
In China, some observers have a more subdued opinion on China's capabilities vis-á-vis the U.S. and its allies. "Leaving the INF would allow the U.S. to do this", he said.
"Both the United States and its allies, such as Japan, can use air and sea-based medium-range missiles", said Shi.More news: Saudi King, prince express condolences to Khashoggi family
It bans the United States and Russian Federation from building, testing, and stockpiling ground-launched nuclear missiles with a range from 500 to 5,000 kilometers.
The BGM-109G, a ground-launched cruise missile shown here at the National Museum of the US Air Force, was one of the US weapons banned by the INF.
He also pointed at China's massive intermediate-range capability as another key concern. In weapons speak, that means 500 to 5,500 kilometers, so, for instance, from Russian Federation to Western Europe and vice versa, but not from Russian Federation to Los Angeles.
Yang Chengjun, a Chinese missile expert, told China's state-run Global Times that if the U.S. dropped out of the INF it would have a "negative" impact on China's national security. Hutchison told a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels that if Moscow continued its development and alleged deployment of the missile that Washington claims violates the INF treaty, the Pentagon was prepared to "take out" the missile.
"Many countries in Asia and other countries are developing these systems, which can be qualified as short- and medium-range missiles".
As the name suggests, an intermediate-range nuclear missile is one that goes a medium distance.
The vow to abandon the International Monetary Fund has caused concern in Europe and brought arms-control matters to the forefront of ties between the former Cold War foes, whose relations continue to be severely strained due to an array of disputes despite the stated hopes of both Trump and Putin for improvements.
That would make it harder for China to consider a conventional first strike against U.S. ships and bases in the region.
U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials have long criticized Russian Federation for testing a cruise missile that they say is banned under the accord.
China criticized the United States and warned Washington to "think twice" about withdrawing from the treaty.