U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov enter a hall for their talks in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser has met with top Russian officials after Trump declared he intended to pull out of a 1987 nuclear weapons treaty. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

The Latest: Polish leader calls treaty move 'understandable'

October 23, 2018 - 7:37 am

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on John Bolton's meetings in Moscow (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

Poland's president says President Donald Trump's announcement that he intends to pull the United States out of a 1987 nuclear weapons treaty is "understandable" in light of Russian activities.

President Andrzej Duda was asked in Berlin on Tuesday whether Poland would be prepared to host new U.S. medium-range missiles if Washington withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Duda said: "We have not taken this matter into consideration."

Trump says 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 500 to 5,500-kilometer (300 to 3,400-mile) range.

Duda, whose country is a close U.S. ally, said Trump is "speaking of a firm reaction" and that "in the light of such attitude on Russia's part, it is understandable."

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1:05 p.m.

The Kremlin has rejected a suggestion that U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a major arms control deal could pave the way for a new treaty.

Trump announced on Saturday that Russia violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty and that the U.S. should leave it. He warned 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 treaty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on Tuesday that right now "there are no prospects for a new deal" to replace the INF and that it is a "dangerous position" to give up the INF treaty without an alternative in sight.

Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton is in Moscow this week to discuss security cooperation with Russia and is expected to meet Putin later on Tuesday.

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11:50 a.m.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has told U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser that Moscow hopes to join the United States in nonproliferation efforts.

Bolton flew to Moscow less than 48 hours after Trump announced his intention to pull out of a key nuclear arms control deal that helped to ease Cold War tensions in the late 1980s.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty has been a cornerstone of global security since it was signed in 1987 between the United States and the Soviet Union. Trump said in a speech on Saturday that Russia has violated it and that is why the U.S. should withdraw.

Shoigu also said in comments carried by Russian news agencies on Tuesday that Russia and the U.S. also should build up on their cooperation in Syria.

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10:55 a.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser is meeting with Russia's defense minister in Moscow just a few days after Trump announced that he intended to pull the United States out of a landmark nuclear weapons treaty.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday lauded National Security Adviser John Bolton for his two-day visit. Russian news agencies quoted Shoigu as saying that "even small steps will benefit our relations and help restore trust" between the two countries.

Bolton arrived in Russia on Monday when he met Security Council chairman Nikolai Patrushev. He is expected to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin later on Tuesday.

Trump over the weekend declared his intension to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because he claims Russia has violated it.

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