Russia announced Saturday that it will be pulling out of the Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty, known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared this one day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States is suspending its participation in the treaty for six months — in a direct reaction to Russia violating the agreement signed on December 8, 1987 by President Reagan and Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
The treaty effectively ended the nuclear arms race between the U.S. and Russia during the Cold War.
In his statement Friday, Sec. of State Mike Pompeo said that Russia is “in material breach of the treaty obligations not to produce, possess or flight test a ground launched intermediate range cruise missile system with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.”
The U.S. will formally end the Treaty in six months if Russia fails to destroy the weapons they have been developing and re-enter into the agreement. But Russia adamantly denies breaching this treaty, and is accusing the U.S. of actually being the ones to violate the agreement.
Putin reportedly announced in a meeting with foreign and defense ministers, “The American partners have declared that they suspend their participation in the deal, we suspend it as well.”
He further stated that Russia will continue developing its missile abilities, including creating hyper-sonic missiles.
The United States has not yet responded to this newest announcement by the Russian president. But for now, it appears the U.S. and Russia have potentially re-entered a new round in the nuclear arms race.