The Trump administration revealed on Friday that the United States will be leaving a landmark Cold War-era nuclear pact with Russia after the administration learned of the Russian government’s noncompliance with it.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision to pull the U.S. from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, initially agreed to in 1987, which bars the two countries “from stationing short or intermediate-range missiles in Europe,” the Washington Examiner reports.
In a statement, Pompeo said Russia “deliberately violated” the agreement.
“The United States will not remain a party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia,” Pompeo said via the report. “Russia’s noncompliance under the treaty jeopardizes U.S. supreme interests as Russia’s development and fielding of a treaty-violating missile system represents a direct threat to the United States and our allies and partners.”
🇺🇸☢️ The United States is today withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, concluded by then US president Ronald #Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail #Gorbachev in 1987. pic.twitter.com/Z5at5O3HIL
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) August 2, 2019
Here’s more on the historic agreement, via the Washington Examiner:
It is alleged that Russia has placed battalions of cruise missiles around the country that could reach Europe, which would be a violation of the treaty. Moscow firmly denies the claim and said that the location of the missiles put Europe outside the range that it could strike.
The INF treaty was historically signed in 1987 in the White House when President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sat side-by-side as they put pen to paper. The treaty helped assuage fears and the ability of either country to launch a nuclear weapon at very short notice.
Friday’s move comes just weeks before the U.S. reportedly plans to test a new missile that would have been banned under the 32-year-old pact.
The United States has confirmed that it is withdrawing from the INF treaty, effective today. A State Department statement cites Russia's 'continued violation' of the terms of the nuclear arms control agreement: pic.twitter.com/SlCi7Kzaw0
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) August 2, 2019
Pompeo previously warned Russia that the U.S. knew they were no longer complying with the pact and gave them six months to make necessary changes. But, Russia rejected the notion.
“On Feb 2nd, 2019 the U.S. gave Russia six months to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Russia refused, so the treaty ends today,” Pompeo tweeted. “The U.S. will not remain party to a treaty when others violate it. Russia bears sole responsibility.”
On Feb 2nd, 2019 the U.S. gave Russia six months to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Russia refused, so the treaty ends today. The U.S. will not remain party to a treaty when others violate it. Russia bears sole responsibility.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 2, 2019