Vladimir Putin has tested Trump and his administration by secretly launching a new intermediate-ranged cruise missile that American officials say violates a treaty between America and Russia. The missile was secretly launched in December and will test Trump’s commitment to developing improved relations between America and Russia.
The treaty that has reportedly been breached is The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). The treaty strictly prohibits land-based cruise missile with range of more than 300 miles, like the one used by Russia recently. The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan that significantly helped bring an end to the Cold War.
The complete disregard for the treaty and the value that it holds for US-Russian relations is a worry for the new Trump administration which needs to respond. Treaties like this one were put in place to promote peace and improve relations between countries. By violating such a treaty, future treaties hold less value and make peace and stability more difficult to maintain. The response from President Trump will pave the way for his administration and relations with Russia.
To make things worse for Trump, multiple Russian jet fighters recently made a low-pass near a U.S ship. The fighters’ pass has been condemned as “unsafe and unprofessional” by U.S officials. A Russian Intelligence ship has been stationed along the East Coast of America. The ship left port in Cuba and is making its way north along the coast of America, with the capability of intercepting U.S communications. These events that test US-Russia relations come after the resignation of President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn amid his friendly Russian contacts.
Vladimir Putin’s actions do not seem so friendly towards President Trump, even though Russia saw a Trump administration as beneficial for themselves. It is very possible that these latest events are a test to see if Trump will stand up to him, while the American President has been praising Putin as a strong “leader”. House Speaker Paul Ryan has a different view and described Putin as an “aggressor that does not share our interests.” Putin is looking to make Russia a powerhouse of equal or greater power to America. Peace is not his main concern and his aggressive military actions must be condemned by world leaders. No one benefits from instability and conflict. As the leader of the world’s strongest powerhouse, President Trump must act presidential by condemning the violation of a treaty that helped two countries restore peace.
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