MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Mikhail Gorbachev, the former president of the Soviet Union, has called on the US and Russian presidents to hold a full-scale meeting to discuss the issues of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) reduction and strengthening of global stability.
“I call for the preparation and holding of a full-fledged, full-scale Russian-US summit. It is completely abnormal that the presidents of the nuclear powers meet somewhere ‘on the sidelines’ and that they met only once! I hope that the process of the preparation to this summit goes on … I am sure that to prepare a statement of the two presidents about their commitment to the INF Treaty by this meeting is quite a real task,”
Gorbachev said in his article published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Wednesday.
“The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is in danger today,”
as both Russia and the United States are threatening to withdraw from it, Gorbachev said.
According to Gorbachev, both sides are accusing each other of violating the INF Treaty, however, this is happening not only due to some “technical problems, but also due to political ones.”
At the same time, the former Soviet leader believes that it would be possible to discuss and solve technical problems, which cause concern of the both sides, and for this purpose it is possible to resume the work of the joint control commission within the framework of the agreement.
“I am sure that having received an ‘impetus’ from the two presidents, the military and diplomats will be able to come to some arrangements,”
Since Donald Trump became US president, there has been some speculation in the media over Washington’s potential withdrawal from the INF treaty. Both Russia and the United States have accused each other of violating the treaty which prohibits the development, deployment and testing of ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles.
Washington also repeatedly accused Moscow of violating the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and attempts to compromise the independence of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The INF Treaty was signed by Gorbachev and his then US President Ronald Reagan in 1987.