Published: Sat, February 02, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Pompeo announces withdrawal from nuclear arms treaty

Pompeo announces withdrawal from nuclear arms treaty

A congressional staffer told RFE/RL on January 31 that the State Department is likely to make the announcement a day ahead of the US -set deadline of February 2 for Russian Federation to meet Washington's requirements as part of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

"When an agreement is so brazenly disregarded, and our security so openly threatened, we must respond", Pompeo said at the State Department.

If the United States announces it will suspend compliance with the INF nuclear missile pact with Russia, Germany will use the six-month period that the formal withdrawal period lasts to hold further discussions, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

But some experts fear the exit could trigger a new nuclear arms race with Washington's former Cold War rival and may jeopardize another critical nuclear arms control agreement: the so-called New START treaty.

Russian Federation has hit back at America's accusations, admitting to the cruise missile but explaining its range means it is not covered by the treaty. Leaving the treaty with Russian Federation would allow the United States to counter the Chinese, but it's unclear how the Pentagon might try to do that. It was the first treaty to ban an entire class of weapons: ground-launched cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 500km. The dispute over INF has contributed to U.S. -Russia frictions, now at their worst since the Cold War ended in 1991 despite Trump's stated desire for better ties.

"It is important that disarmament and the worldwide arms control architecture are put back on the global agenda", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said. In a statement, the NATO nations said that "Allies fully support this action" and "Russia will bear sole responsibility for the end of the Treaty". "We can not be the only country bound by a treaty". Mike Pompeo warned nearly two months ago that the USA would pull out today if Russian Federation did not "come back into compliance".

Mr Trump ripped up the disarmament agreement today after Moscow failed to meet Washington's February 2 deadline to remove missiles it believes violates the deal.

The Kremlin denies violating the treaty.

The United States is suspending one of the last major nuclear arms control treaties with Russian Federation after heated conversations between the two powers recently failed to resolve a long-running accusation that Moscow is violating the Reagan-era treaty.

"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.

FILE PHOTO: Components of SSC-8/9M729 cruise missile system are on display during a news briefing, organized by Russian defence and foreign ministries, at Patriot Expocentre near Moscow, Russia January 23, 2019. Bolton has a much more clear-eyed view of Vladimir Putin and his imperial ambitions than Trump or his previous two predecessors had until they themselves got burned badly enough.

"Russia consistently refuses to acknowledge its violation and continues to push disinformation and false narratives regarding its illegal missile", she said.

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