Russia Wants Explanation of Trump Withdrawal from Arms Treaty
The Kremlin expressed concern Monday about U.S. President Donald Trump's pledge to pull out of a key Cold War arms deal with Russia, saying the move would "make the world a more dangerous place."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Russia has not violated the treaty and if the United States goes on to develop new missiles then Russia would be forced to respond in kind.
Peskov said Russian officials want to get more information about the U.S. plans regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty during talks this week with National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Bolton is due to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Monday and President Vladimir Putin.
Trump has accused Russia of building and testing missiles that violate the 1987 treaty.
The deal bans the U.S. and Russia from building, testing, and stockpiling ground-launched nuclear missiles with a range from 500 to 5,000 kilometers.
President Trump Saturday said Moscow has violated the agreement.
"They have been violating it for many years. And we're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we are not allowed to," he said.
U.S. officials going back to the Obama administration have accused Russia of deliberately deploying a land-based cruise missile to pose a threat to NATO.
Russia has denied violating the INF agreement and says U.S. missile defense systems are a violation.
Many so-called hawks in Washington say the INF treaty keeps the U.S. from developing a new generation of weapons in a world that faces new global security challenges.
“We’ll have to develop those weapons, unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and say let’s really get smart and let’s none of us develop those weapons, but if Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it, and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable,” Trump said.
China is not part of the INF agreement.
Taiwan Investigates Train Derailment That Killed 18
Officials in Taiwan have launched an investigation into what caused a train derailment Sunday that killed at least 18 people and injured around 175 others.
President Tsai Ing-wen visited the accident site in the northeastern Yilan county on Monday where she met with family members of the victims.
The train carrying more than 360 passengers derailed on a popular coastal route on its way from a suburb of Taipei to the southeastern city of Taitung.
Some passengers interviewed by news agencies said they felt the Puyuma Express train was going too fast.
All of the train's eight carriages derailed, and five of them were flipped over, according to a statement from the Taiwan Railways Administration.
Photos of the scene showed the train cars lying zig-zagged across the track.
Rescue efforts went into the night Sunday with workers using flashlights and cranes to move around and lift up the derailed cars.
The area was cleared enough Monday to allow rail service to resume.