Donald Trump confirms USA withdrawal from INF nuclear treaty

Donald Trump confirms USA withdrawal from INF nuclear treaty

Donald Trump confirms USA withdrawal from INF nuclear treaty

The proposal came just ahead of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's announcement Friday morning that the United States plans to suspend its obligations under the 1987 arms control treaty on Saturday to begin the six-month withdrawal process, and ultimately "will terminate" it if Russian Federation doesn't come into compliance.

"Unless Russia honors its INF Treaty obligations through the verifiable destruction of all of its 9M729 systems, thereby returning to full and verifiable compliance before the USA withdrawal takes effect in six months, Russia will bear sole responsibility for the end of the Treaty", the NATO declaration states.

"If Russia does not return to full and verifiable compliance with the treaty within this six-month period by verifiably destroying its INF-violating missiles, their launchers, and associated equipment, the treaty will terminate", Pompeo told reporters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has sought a warm relationship with Trump but is widely reviled by the USA establishment, has declared that the United States withdrawal would set off a new arms race.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to hold a briefing on February 1, although the subject of the news conference was not disclosed. On January 23, in what some interpreted as a gesture of defiance, Russia's military unveiled a new 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile, or SSC9, as NATO calls it, which the usa has said violates the INF treaty.

The Kremlin denies violating the treaty. Moscow, on its part has vehemently denied the accusations, even showcasing the missile the United States claimed to be in violation of the INF agreement in an unprecedented step towards transparency.

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance "fully supports the USA suspension & notification of withdrawal from the Treaty". The United States first declared Russia in violation of the treaty in 2014, but the Russian government has not taken significant action to comply.

"Bolton has the same hostility toward New START historically as he had toward all the other worldwide agreements where he has been the primary assassin", Countryman said. The U.S. has no nuclear-capable missiles based in Europe; the last of that type and range were withdrawn in line with the INF treaty. "And it's unfair for the U.S. to voluntarily restrict itself in a bilateral treaty when one side of that partnership (Russia) is failing to live by its obligations". But U.S. and NATO officials have for years argued that Russian Federation was in violation of the treaty.

Washington has said that if Russian Federation does not return to compliance, it will start the six-month process of leaving the pact from February 2.

Trump said his administration "will move forward with developing our own military response options and will work with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and our other allies and partners to deny Russian Federation any military advantage from its unlawful conduct".

The INF move "risks precisely the sort of nuclear arms buildup that the treaty was created to guard against", said Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Some experts believe the treaty's collapse could undermine other arms control agreements and speed an erosion of the global system created to block the spread of nuclear arms. "You can negotiate a free trade agreement in five years but disarmament negotiations, they absorb generations of negotiators".

"The administration's ideological aversion to arms control as a tool for advancing national security is endangering our safety, as well as that of our allies and partners", Mr Smith said. But senior Trump administration officials said they don't expect any immediate testing or deployment of weapons that are banned under the treaty.

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