Last weekend, Donald Trump implied he was preparing to withdraw from a landmark agreement with Russia to limit their respective nuclear arsenals. Yesterday in Parliament I spoke about my concern at this latest erosion of the progress we’ve made towards global nuclear disarmament and asked the government to give grounds for optimism for the future of global peace and cooperation.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was signed in 1987. It committed both nations to eliminate short-range, intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles in the aftermath of the Cold War.
Donald Trump’s intention to withdraw from this convention concerns me greatly. This takes place in a context of a number of global crises: mass migration of refugees, climate change and ongoing instability in the Middle East. This decision highlights his continued disrespect for the global rule-based order, which we need now more than ever to solve these international challenges. But more importantly, it is utterly irresponsible to be considering increasing the size of the US’s nuclear arsenal at a time of such global instability.
In response to my question in the House of Commons yesterday, the government confirmed that international diplomatic efforts were ongoing to try and keep this vital treaty intact. For all our sakes, I hope that these are successful and that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin see reason.