And today's first topic concerns the United States and Russia. On Friday the U.S. government announced its plans to pull out of the international agreement that concerns nuclear weapons. On Saturday, the Russian government announced it was also suspended its participation in the agreement. The deal we're talking about is more than three decades old. It was signed when Russia was the dominant part of the Soviet Union.
It was called the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty or INF Treaty. What the U.S. and the Soviet Union did was agree to stop making missiles that could be launched from land and could travel between 300 and 3,400 miles. The treaty did not cover missiles that could travel the same distances, but are launched from planes or ships. Why was the treaty made? Because both sides were developing dangerous weapons that could carry nuclear warheads and placing these missiles in Europe.
There were concerns that all this was bringing the U.S. and the Soviet Union closer to war. The treaty remained in place after the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. But in 2014, the U.S. government under the Obama Administration, publicly accused Russia of violating the agreement. And late last week, the Trump Administration said the U.S. would leave the deal, unless Russia came back in line within it, within six months. Russia has repeatedly denied that it was violating the treaty. But there's another country, China, that may also factor into what's taking place.