Mr Trump said the decision to withdraw Washington from the pact that restricts nuclear attacks was the result of Russia’s violation of the terms.
Speaking after a rally in Nevada yesterday, Trump, said: “We’re the ones that have stayed in the agreement and we’ve honoured the agreement, but Russia has not unfortunately honoured the agreement, so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.”
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed by former president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, was an arms-control agreement between the two countries.
The treaty eliminated the use of short and intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles but excluded sea-launched missiles.
The two countries eliminated 2,692 missiles after the treaty came into force in 1988.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov warned Mr Trump today that he would be taking a “very dangerous step” if he went ahead with scrapping the treaty, which could lead to a ‘military-technical’ retaliation.
Mr Rybakov argued that the Trump administration was using the treaty in an attempt to blackmail the Kremlin, adding that “…We will, of course, accept no ultimatums or blackmail methods.”
US officials have accused Russia of violating the agreement for several years.
The Trump administration believe Moscow has breached the treaty and deployed a ground-launched system that would allow it to strike Europe at short notice.
Russia has denied the allegations.
In response to Russia’s military threat, Mr Trump said the US will develop nuclear weaponry unless China and Russia agree to stop their own production.
China is not involved in the treaty and has historically invested in conventional missiles, however, the INF treaty prohibits the US to roll out ground-launched ballistic missiles or cruise missiles of ranges between 500 and 5,500 km.
Mr Ryabvok said that Russia would have no choice but to retaliate including taking measures of a “military-technical nature”, state-controlled RIA news agency reported.
He added: “But we would rather things did not get that far.”
US national security adviser, John Bolton, will fly over to Moscow next week.