United States to Announce Its Exit From Cold War Nuclear Arms Treaty

Feb 02, 2019, 00:42
United States to Announce Its Exit From Cold War Nuclear Arms Treaty

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday the United States will abandon a missile treaty it signed with Russian Federation more than three decades ago, because Moscow's not holding up its end of the deal.

"We will provide Russian Federation and the other treaty parties with formal notice that the United States is withdrawing from the INF treaty, effective in six months".

"We are operating in an environment where some states are violating arms control and non-proliferation obligations and developing new and destabilizing weapons systems", stated Andrea Thompson, U.S. Under Secretary of Arms Control and International Security.

The White House announced Friday morning the United States is pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russian Federation after repeated violations by the Kremlin. Citing the support of NATO over Russian deployment of an offending missile system on the European frontier, Pompeo announced that the U.S. would officially withdraw from the INF treaty, starting a six-month process that could touch off another arms race.

The official said if that happens "then the U.S. would unsuspend".

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Russian Federation is in a far weaker position economically than the USA, however.

"For any arms control treaty to be effective, every party must abide by its terms", she said.

Reif said the period between now and August, when the USA withdrawal would take effect, offers a last chance to save the treaty, but he sees little prospect of that happening.

"We are sometime away from having a system that we have produced, that we would train soldiers or airmen or Marines to deploy, and then certainly before we would be in a position to talk about basing, potentially in allied countries. and of course all that will be proceeded by intensive consultations with allies so that we can have a mutual understanding of what the security environment, what the defense and deterrence environment will be in a post INF world", the official said.

US patience has run thin, Hutchison indicated, noting that diplomatic efforts to bring Russian Federation back into compliance with treaty have lasted five years.

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"Our NATO Allies fully support us, because they understand the threat posed by Russia's violation and the risks to arms control posed by ignoring treaty violations", the president's statement continued.

However, neither the Trump nor Pompeo gave any indication whether the administration would agree to extend the 2010 New Start treaty, the last remaining arms control agreement constraining the arsenals of the two major nuclear weapons powers. "So, it is not about Russia's guilt of violating this treaty, it is not about China or any other factor of worldwide security".

On Thursday, Russian and USA officials met to address the issue on the sidelines of a meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in Beijing but made no progress. After several years of fruitless talks, Washington began stepping up its rhetoric in late 2017, publicly identifying the missile in question and asserting that Russian Federation had moved beyond testing, and had begun deploying the systems.

A senior United States administration official denied Beijing is a factor.

"Russia consistently refuses to acknowledge its violation and continues to push disinformation and false narratives regarding its illegal missile", she said. "You can negotiate a free trade agreement in five years but disarmament negotiations, they absorb generations of negotiators".

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