President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before departing the White House in Washington. Image Credit: AP

Washington: US President Donald Trump said he wants a new nuclear agreement to be signed by both Russia and China, replacing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty from which the US withdrew over the weekend.

Trump said he had spoken to the two countries about the idea, and that they were both “very, very excited”.

The Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banned missiles with ranges of 500-5,500km.

The US withdrawal on Friday followed accusations by Washington that Russia had violated the pact by deploying a new type of cruise missile - a charge denied by Moscow.

Responding to questions about how he would avoid a nuclear arms race following the INF treaty’s demise, Trump said his administration had been speaking to Russia “about a pact for nuclear, so that they get rid of some, we get rid of some”.

“We’d certainly have to include China at some point,” he added.

Trump said such a treaty would be “a great thing for the world” and that he believed it would happen. “China was very, very excited about talking about it and so was Russia. So I think we’ll have a deal at some point,” he told reporters.