USA pulls out of Cold War-era nuclear treaty, blaming Russian Federation
00:39, Feb 2, 2019
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo first announced on Friday the Trump administration's decision to officially suspend its compliance with the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
However, the end of the treaty could also serve Russia's strategic interests, removing any obstacle to Moscow deploying intermediate-range missiles that could reach Europe and China.
In a written statement, Trump said that the United States would be suspending its compliance with the 1987 treaty on Saturday, and would serve formal notice that it would withdraw altogether in six months.
"The only ones applauding the decision to tear up the INF Treaty are the nuclear weapons manufacturers, eagerly anticipating the kickoff of Cold War II".
The decision to pull out of the Soviet-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty came amid claims from the United States that Russian Federation has violated the agreement.
The American withdrawal had been expected.
"There's a lot of discussion about China", this official said, briefing reporters on the suspension. The Russians will likely argue that "this is about the USA and the U.S. trying to destabilize the worldwide order", this official said, stressing that Europe has been united in its stance, alongside the U.S., that Russia has been violating the treaty. "And it's unfair for the USA to voluntarily restrict itself in a bilateral treaty when one side of that partnership (Russia) is failing to live by its obligations".
The treaty required the parties to destroy ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 km (310 to 3,420 miles).
Russian Federation has denounced the United States' decision to leave a landmark Cold War nuclear missile treaty, saying it was part of Washington's plan to "get out of its worldwide legal obligations".
Kingston Reif, director for disarmament at the Arms Control Association, said Thursday that the U.S. had failed to exhaust diplomatic options to save the treaty.
The U.S. has informed its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies of its intention, according to the information.
"We can not be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other", the president said. US officials gave Russian Federation 60 days to come into compliance.
"Our NATO Allies fully support us, because they understand the threat posed by Russia's violation and the risks to arms control posed by ignoring treaty violations", President Donald Trump said in a statement Friday. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday that Russia sees "no progress" on maintaining the more than 30-year-old treaty.
For six years, both the Trump and Obama administrations have raised concerns about Russia's noncompliance.
Russian Federation on Friday said it regretted Washington's expected exit from a key arms control treaty and expected to receive formal notice from the United States shortly.
-Russian relations, which already are arguably at the lowest point in decades, and debate among USA allies in Europe over whether Russia's alleged violations warrant a countermeasure such as deployment of an equivalent American missile in Europe.
A senior U.S. administration official denied Beijing is a factor.
"Russia will feel more legitimized to continue what it's doing now, but also increasing some of its efforts on missile technology and deploying them", said a European official. After several years of fruitless talks, Washington began stepping up its rhetoric in late 2017, publicly identifying the missile in question and asserting that Russian Federation had moved beyond testing, and had begun deploying the systems.
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