The two leaders talked on the phone on Sunday. French President Emmanuel Macron criticized US President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw from the decades-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), saying it would impact Europe’s security.
“The President of the Republic underlined the importance of this treaty, especially with regards to European security and our strategic stability,” a statement read.
This is not the first time France has slammed the US for withdrawing from deals. Paris previously criticized Washington for ditching the Iran nuclear deal as well as the Paris climate accord. It also came down on the US for imposing steel and aluminum tariffs. All of this could signal that the White House’s tough-guy rhetoric is driving France further and further away.
Germany also chimed in, calling the US’ plan to rip up the landmark accord “unacceptable.” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the deal is “an important pillar of our European security architecture.”
The breakthrough treaty was signed in the final years of the decades-long Cold War between the USSR and the US. Signed by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the agreement has always been considered a milestone in ending the arms race between the two superpowers.
If Washington withdraws from the accord, the ban on producing short and intermediate range missiles would be lifted.
Trump’s decision has been met with waves of criticism in Russia. The Kremlin stated that withdrawal would make the world a more dangerous place, and would force Moscow to step in and “restore the balance.”