USA announces withdrawal from INF missile treaty

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The U.S. action has been expected for months and was virtually assured after last-ditch talks in Beijing on January 31 between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Undersecretary of State Andrea Thompson ended without agreement.

There has been no formal indication from the State Department that the topic of the briefing will be the treaty, but State Department officials indicated in comments Thursday that the United States is prepared to stop abiding by the bilateral midrange nuclear arms treaty.

The United States first publicly accused Moscow of violating the INF Treaty in 2014. Pompeo said he's hopeful the USA can put its relationship with Russian Federation on better footing.

"We are then also able to conduct the R&D and work on the systems we haven't been able to use because we've been in compliance with the treaty".

"Unfortunately, there is no progress".

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President Donald Trump and his senior officials have been signaling for months that they are ready to pull out of the INF Treaty, which the U.S. and Europe accuse Moscow of violating since 2014.

"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 INF Treaty, signed by US President Ronald Reagan and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, put an end to Cold War tensions by stopping both countries from keeping short and intermediate land-based missiles in Europe. "The position of the American side is very tough and like an ultimatum".

Washington and NATO accuse Russian Federation of breaching the treaty by developing the 9M729 cruise missile, also known as the SSC-8.

The prospect of United States withdrawal from the INF pact has stirred concern globally.

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Stoltenberg said recently it was still too early to predict how North Atlantic Treaty Organisation would react to a possible end to the agreement, including whether it would mean the stationing of USA nuclear weapons in Europe.

"Withdrawing from treaties takes a step in the wrong direction", Cownie said in a telephone interview.

Laura Rockwood, executive director at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, called the treaty "extraordinarily successful" and said it "needed saving".

"For any arms control treaty to be effective, every party must abide by its terms", she said. He argues that Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, is "unlikely to miss the opportunity to kill an agreement he has long despised".

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