No pussy-footing around anymore…
US withdraws from nuclear arms treaty with Russia
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday that the US is suspending the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia that has been a centerpiece of European security since the Cold War.
“For years, Russia has violated the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty without remorse,” Pompeo said, speaking from the State Department, as quoted by CNN.
“Russia’s violations put millions of Europeans and Americans at greater risk,” he added.
“It is our duty to respond appropriately,” Pompeo said, adding that the US had provided “ample time” for Russia to return to compliance.
The long-expected suspension goes into effect on Saturday. Pompeo’s announcement starts a 180-day clock to complete withdrawal unless Russia returns to compliance with the 1987 agreement.
President Donald Trump and his senior officials had been signaling for months that they were ready to pull out of the INF treaty, which the US accuses Moscow of violating since 2014.
“The United States has fully adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years, but we will not remain constrained by its terms while Russia misrepresents its actions,” Trump said in a statement Friday. “We cannot be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other.”