The U.S. government will suspend the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with the Russian government after years of disputes between the two, President Donald Trump announced Friday.
“Tomorrow, the United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which will be completed in six months unless Russia comes back into compliance by destroying all of its violating missiles, launchers, and associated equipment,” Trump said in a Friday morning statement. (RELATED: US-NATO Ambassador Warns Of Military Strike If Russia Doesn’t Halt Development Of Banned Missile)
The U.S. maintains that Russia has developed a strategic intermediate range missile deployed in Europe that violates the treaty and have insisted its government destroy it.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined the suspension of the treaty Friday morning at the State Department telling reporters, “For years, Russia has violated terms of the INF Treaty without remorse.”
Trump continued in his announcement, “We cannot be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other. We will move forward with developing our own military response options and will work with NATO and our other allies and partners to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct.”
The INF treaty was signed between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987, with the United States saying that Russian violations in recent years have restricted the U.S. nuclear arsenal while their opponents continue to cheat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been especially aggressive in pursuit of an updated nuclear weapon.
“We’ve had conversations at every level, at senior levels, at technical levels. We’ve had conversations about the nature of these systems. There’s no mistaking that the Russians have chosen not to comply with this treaty,” Pompeo said in his announcement, noting that the United States no longer believes the treaty is constructive.