The Trump administration said Friday that the U.S. will formally begin the process of withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Cold War-era arms control accord with Russia — a move that prompted Russia to announce its own withdrawal on Saturday.
The declaration by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been expected for months. He said the U.S. will suspend its obligations under the 1987 INF treaty as of Saturday and pull out in six months if Russia isn’t deemed to be in compliance.
“For years, Russia has violated the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty without remorse,” Pompeo said in Washington.
“To this day,” he added, “Russia remains in material breach of its 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 [about 300 to 3,400 miles].”
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