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US Suspends INF Treaty With Russia

US Suspends INF Treaty With Russia
Image by Gage Skidmore
U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

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The United States has suspended its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Agreement (INF) with the Russian Federation due to allegations of Russian violations of the treaty.

Speaking on February 1, Pompeo said Washington will formally notify Moscow that the United States is withdrawing from the INF Treaty in six months. Pompeo told reporters in Washington that the United States remained open to arms control negotiations with Russia.

NATO said it “fully supports” the U.S. decision, reported RFERL.

“The security of the American people must be our greatest consideration,” Mr. Pompeo said. “For years Russia has violated the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty without remorse.”

Washington may take similar steps concerning the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

“What will come next is a huge question. I fear that the New START may share the fate of the INF Treaty, it may just expire on February 5, 2021, without an extension,” he noted, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

“First the US Congress, and then the executive branch introduced a false, harmful and detrimental linkage into their internal discussion and decision-making process: that the fate of New START depends in some way on what will happen to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty,” the diplomat said.

“Long before the current tensions around the INF Treaty arose, we offered the Americans to tackle the issue of prolonging New START as a backbone, a basis for the arms control system. Prolonging it at least for five years, as the letter of the treaty itself suggests,” the Russian senior diplomat reminded. “The Americans that we are in contact with avoid this issue under laughable pretenses, such as “there is still a lot of time”, “there is no need to hurry”, because the decision on prolonging it can be taken on in one day. This is children’s talk, which means that they do not admit the existence of a very serious issue related to the implementation of this treaty.”

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