The peace between Russia and the United States is on shaky ground, to say the least. While half of the US, without evidence, believes that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia, the other half of the nation is looking on in confusion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday that Moscow has “caught up with US missile capabilities.” Putin stated that if America decides to back out of a landmark Cold War nuclear treaty, then Moscow will continue to develop new weapons systems, both nuclear and non-nuclear, according to Reuters.
At the same time, some US officials have claimed that Russia is already developing missiles that violate the treaty. Russia has denied all claims up until this point.
The original treaty in question is the 1987 agreement. It was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The purpose of the deal was to get both countries to stop developing ground-launched missiles as well as any cruise missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
There was a point in the conversation when Putin was talking about the US “missing a chance to build a safer and more stable world after the Cold War.” This apparently led to some frustrations for the Russian leader.
He criticized the United States for being slow to take down chemical weapons arsenals that fall along the lines of the international treaty. At the same time, Russia just finished destroying their chemical weapon stockpiles last month.
Putin then switched to the topic of North Korea. He said, “We condemn the nuclear tests carried out by North Korea,” according to The Daily Mail.
The Russian President went on to explain that the problem with North Korea needs to be resolved through “dialogue.” He believes that they should not be driven into a corner and threatened with force.
This conversation comes at a time when the relationship between Russia and the United States is rocky. The talk of building weapons if the US abdicates the treaty has many higher-up officials turning their heads and paying attention.
Russia and the US recently experienced the expulsion of many of their diplomats from both countries. During this time, diplomatic missions have also been cut drastically. Some are suggesting that the cuts are necessary, while others think it harbors a form of resentment — resentment that causes controversies such as this one.
Russia threatened the US with the possibility of continuing to develop nuclear weapons. Does this concern you?
The Russian Foreign Ministry has told the US to cut its embassy currently in Russia by precisely 755 people. That is a drastic two-thirds cut. The toxic relationship between the two countries is causing more tension. This is in addition to the media blaming Russia for hacking the election, despite lacking evidence to support their claim.
Many argue that President Trump is just making the best decisions he can for the United States, as he promised during his campaign. Considering that the US was focused on catering to other countries for the past eight years, it is expected that world leaders would dislike the US suddenly focusing on the best decision for itself first. It is impossible to please all world leaders, so the US can only aim for peace whenever possible, and be cautious of those who can build weapons to disrupt it.