USA announces withdrawal from nuclear arms treaty with Russian Federation

Posted February 02, 2019

Washington says Russian Federation has violated the treaty that bans ground-launched missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometres (310 to 3,400 miles).

However, neither the Trump nor Pompeo gave any indication whether the administration would agree to extend the 2010 New Start treaty, the last remaining arms control agreement constraining the arsenals of the two major nuclear weapons powers.

Russian Federation denies the allegation, saying the missile's range puts it outside the treaty, and has accused the United States of inventing a false pretext to exit a treaty Washington wants to leave anyway so it can develop new missiles.

Russian Federation says the missile's maximum range is 480 kilometres (300 miles), within the allowed range.

"Russia faces a choice: It can either keep its noncompliant missile system or it can have the INF treaty, but it cannot have both", she said. But senior Trump administration officials said they don't expect any immediate testing or deployment of weapons that are banned under the treaty.

"We can not be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other". "And we're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we're not allowed to".

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While Pompeo said the US was suspending compliance with the agreement, effective February 2, he noted that the USA would continue to negotiate with the Russians, but only if they were serious about following the rules laid out in the treaty.

"All NATO allies support the US decision today to start the withdrawal process, but it will take six months before that process is completed", NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told The Associated Press in an interview Friday.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance "fully supports the USA suspension & notification of withdrawal from the Treaty".

Franz Klintsevich, deputy chairman of Russia's Committee for Defense and Security, said Russian Federation "will not comply with the treaty unilaterally". Once announced, the formal withdrawal process takes six months. Withdrawal now requires an additional six-month window, according to the treaty's terms.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday Moscow was expecting the USA withdrawal "with much regret", and said the Trump administration is unwilling to hold "substantial talks".

US withdrawal raises the prospect of further deterioration in U.S. Moscow, on its part has vehemently denied the accusations, even showcasing the missile the USA claimed to be in violation of the INF agreement in an unprecedented step towards transparency.

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"Just concluded a great meeting with my Intel team in the Oval Office who told me that what they said on Tuesday at the Senate Hearing was mischaracterized by the media - and we are very much in agreement on Iran, ISIS, North Korea, etc".

Critics like Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, say the Trump administration "lacks a coherent strategy to address the threat new Russian cruise missiles pose to the interests of the United States and those of our allies". Tomorrow that time runs out.

"The United States imposed a 60-day period during which we had to fulfill their ultimatum", the Sputnik news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying after talks with Thompson.

The White House announced Friday it was withdrawing from a landmark Cold War-era missile treaty with Russian Federation effective Saturday, raising the specter of a risky and costly arms race in Europe.

"We'll follow all the steps that need to be taken on the treaty to suspend our obligations with the intent to withdraw".

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