Donald Trump has startled the world by revealing his plans to ratchet-up pressure on both Russia and China by making the US an immense nuclear power. The US president is adamant that Russia has broken the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty which was brokered in 1987 while the two world powers were locked in the Cold War. Although Russia firmly denies any wrongdoing, the news coming out of the United States about an impending nuclear arsenal requires attention from countries across the globe.

Rolling back to the Cold War

For many, this rhetoric will sound intensely reminiscent of what was said by both sides during the Cold War.

Critics are even questioning whether tensions could escalate to such a scale that we see the return of a nuclear arms race-esque situation. Mr Trump reiterated that the threat of a nuclear arsenal in the US was aimed at any country deemed to be in opposition to international peace. Both Russia and China were singled-out in particular by the President as countries which he was retaliating to with these nuclear threats.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which Russia has been accused of breaching, was created to prevent the then Soviet power from building medium-range missiles, initially during the Cold War period, which could threaten European countries.

The Secretary of Russia's Security Council, Mr Nikolai Patrushev, claimed that there were 'mutual' grievances, which Russia was ready to work on, between his nation and the US.

What is Mr Trump threatening?

The President has told reporters that the US would continue to create its own nuclear arsenal until other international powers, namely China and Russia, come 'to their senses'. In giving only a vague barometer for when tensions could be expected to de-escalate, commentators are worried that this could signal the start long-term of long-term pro-active aggression being used as a tactic by the United States.

The Kremlin, in response to the statements coming from the White House, has said that if the Trump administration follows through on its threats, then Russia would be forced to take steps for its own protection. At this time it is unclear exactly what these steps would entail.

The US claims that the exact breach of Cold War agreements occurred when Russia constructed a new medium-range missile they have dubbed the Novator 9M729. This missile would reportedly enable the country to strike against NATO members in a very swift manner before the international organisation could scramble to protect one of its own countries.