After President Trump withdrew from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty over the weekend, John Bolton is in Moscow Monday for what are certain to be some very awkward talks. Bolton was the leading proponent of withdrawing from INF.
Russian officials have been deeply critical of the US for withdrawing from the treaty, saying it shows a lack of wisdom and risks sparking an arms race. President Vladimir Putin is said to seek “clarification” on what America’s intentions actually are.
Bolton insists that the US isn’t trying to blackmail Russia over the INF, but wasn’t clear what the US intentions are, saying that there has been no decision to deploy missiles to Europe targeting Russia yet over the INF.
Blackmail was speculated by Russia, but was unlikely given that this was Bolton’s idea. In general, Bolton’s efforts involve escalating tensions, and don’t have any clear-cut end game in mind which would involve a diplomatic agreement.
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