Treaty Exits and Extensions Top Trump Adviser's Moscow Talks - NBC4 Washington
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Treaty Exits and Extensions Top Trump Adviser's Moscow Talks

The European Union warned Trump to assess the potential impact of abandoning a 40-year-old arms control agreement

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Under the Tucson Sun
    Andrew Harnik/AP, File
    This Sept. 10, 2018, file photo shows national security adviser John Bolton speaks at a Federalist Society luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

    President Donald Trump's national security adviser met in Moscow with top Russian officials Monday, less than 48 hours after Trump declared he intended to pull the United States out of a 1987 nuclear weapons treaty.

    National Security Adviser John Bolton and his Russian counterpart, Security Council chairman Nikolai Patrushev, discussed arms control agreements, Syria, Iran, North Korea and the fight against terrorism, according to the Security Council.

    During the talks, Patrushev emphasized the importance of maintaining the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Security Council said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

    Trump said that Russia violated the treaty that prohibits the U.S. and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched nuclear cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles.)

    Trump Denies Bombshell Russia Reports From NYT, Post

    [NATL] Trump Denies Bombshell Russia Reports From NYT, Washington Post

    President Donald Trump responded to accusations of Russian collusion in two separate bombshell reports from the New York Times and the Washington Post. Trump denied that he fired former FBI Director James Comey to advance Russian interests and a Post report that he hid conversations he had with Vladimir Putin.

    (Published Monday, Jan. 14, 2019)

    He warned Saturday that the U.S. will begin developing such weapons unless Russia and China agree not to possess or develop them. China wasn't a party to the pact that was signed in 1987 by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

    "Russia has not adhered to the agreement," Trump said Monday. "We have more money than anybody else by far, we'll build it up until they come to their senses."

    "I'm terminating the agreement because they violated the agreement," Trump said, adding that his action was "a threat to whoever you want, and it includes China, and it includes Russia and it includes anybody else that wants to play that game."

    Bolton noted in an interview with the Russian business daily Kommersant that the U.S. was concerned both with Russia's violation of the pact and China's intermediate-range missile capabilities. He also added that it would be unrealistic to expect Beijing to accept any limits.

    In Monday's talks with Bolton, Patrushev reaffirmed Russia's "readiness for joint work to consider mutual complaints regarding the treaty's implementation," the Security Council said.

    "It was underlined that its abrogation would deal a serious blow to the entire international system of nuclear non-proliferation and arms control," the council's statement said.

    Judge Blocks Trump Birth Control Coverage Rules in 13 States

    [NATL-PHI] Judge Blocks Trump Birth Control Coverage Rules in Delaware, Other States

    A Trump Administration rule that would allow more employers to opt out of covering birth control from women will not take effect on Monday as scheduled. The rules would let employers claim exemption for religious or moral reasons. Delaware is one of the 13 states that sued to have the rule stopped.

    (Published Monday, Jan. 14, 2019)

    Patrushev and Bolton also discussed a possible five-year extension of another pivotal arms control agreement between Russia and the U.S. — the New START Treaty that went into force in 2011 and is set to expire in 2021, the statement said.

    Bolton also held talks later in the day with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and is set to meet with President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

    Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, warned Monday that the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty would "make the world a more dangerous place."

    He added that Russia would have to take countermeasures to "restore balance" if the U.S. opts out of the agreement.

    Peskov reaffirmed Moscow's strong denial of any treaty violations.

    "We categorically disagree with the claim that Russia has violated the INF Treaty," he said. "Russia has fully adhered to the treaty's provisions."

    Trump Visits Southern Border to Make Case for a Border Wall

    [NATL] Trump Visits Southern Border to Make Case for a Border Wall

    President Donald Trump flew to Texas Thursday to tour the southern border and make the case for his proposed border wall. This comes as the federal government entered its 20th day of a partial shutdown. President Trump has refused to sign any bill that doesn’t include $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019)

    He noted that Russia long has voiced concern about what it sees as U.S. violations of the treaty. Russia has charged that U.S. missile defense facilities in Romania could be modified to house ground-to-ground intermediate-range cruise missiles.

    NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Monday that the military alliance has repeatedly expressed concern about Russia's nuclear-capable 9M729 missile.

    "In the absence of any credible answer from Russia on this new missile, allies believe that the most plausible assessment would be that Russia is in violation of the INF Treaty," she said.

    Lungescu didn't comment on Trump's threat to withdraw from the treaty, saying only that the "allies continue consultations."

    The European Union warned Trump to assess the potential impact of abandoning a 40-year-old arms control agreement.

    The EU said that along with urging Russia to stick to the treaty, it encouraged "the United States to consider the consequences of its possible withdrawal from the INF on its own security, on the security of its allies and of the whole world."

    Federal Workers Juggling Shutdown Stress

    [NATL-DC] Federal Workers Juggling Shutdown Stress

    "I just go to the gym and juggle. Just a way to escape everything," Barry Goldmeier said. He's one of thousands of government employees furloughed during the shutdown. News4's Shomari Stone spoke to a therapist about other ways furloughed workers can cope with the stress.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019)

    The bloc described the treaty as an essential cornerstone of Europe's security structure, adding, "the world doesn't need a new arms race that would benefit no one and on the contrary, would bring even more instability."

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "still hopes that the two countries will engage to solve the disagreements," U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Monday.

    Haq noted that Guterres has urged the U.S. and Russia to resolve their dispute over the INF, to extend the New START treaty and to take new steps to reduce nuclear stockpiles.