The US and Russia have agreed to a deal in principle to prevent a possible nuclear war between the two superpowers, US President Donald Trump announced Monday.
The two countries have agreed that there will be no more nuclear weapons and a US withdrawal from the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty, a US official told AFP news agency.
Trump and Putin are expected to sign the agreement on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next week, and the US is expected to withdraw its first missile defense system from the Korean peninsula.US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at the UN that the deal is an important step forward in the effort to end a decades-long Cold War.
“This historic agreement marks a new era of cooperation between the United States and Russia, as well as the start of a new chapter in the history of the nuclear nonproliferation regime,” Tillerson said.
The announcement was the first concrete step by Trump to resolve the longstanding standoff between Washington and Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, where Russia has been accused of supporting separatists.US Defense Secretary James Mattis has called the deal a “milestone” in efforts to bring peace and stability to Ukraine.
The deal is aimed at “giving the people of Ukraine a clear picture of the progress that has been made towards peaceful settlement of the conflict” and to allow for the delivery of US-Russian humanitarian aid to Ukraine, the US official said.
A second US official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been finalized, said there was still a long way to go to implement the deal, and that there would be a number of obstacles in the way.
“There are many more steps to take,” the official said, referring to the implementation of the deal.
“But the US has always said that we are going to get there.
So the fact that it’s a milestone, a step forward, is a very important thing.
It gives hope to people.”
The agreement, reached in secret between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, is expected by the US to pave the way for a final nuclear deal with Moscow.US officials have said they hope to meet Putin in person next week for the first time since the talks broke down in December.
Russia and the United Nations have repeatedly rejected the US plan for a deal and have warned against the potential for conflict.