The Trump administration is poised to announce later Friday that it is withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty that the US agreed with the Soviet Union in 1987.
The US said on Friday it was withdrawing from the landmark Cold War INF missile treaty with Russian Federation, accusing Moscow of violation.
In a written statement, Trump said that the U.S. would be suspending its compliance with the 1987 treaty on Saturday, and would serve formal notice that it would withdraw altogether 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.
US President Donald Trump is pulling the US out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a 1987 pact with the former Soviet Union that became a pillar of global arms control. Long-standing Russian complaints of the US building a global missile system were again raised in the wake of Trump's announcement last month of the 2019 Missile Defense Review, through which he vowed to "detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States anywhere, anytime".
"There's a lot of discussion about China", this official said, briefing reporters on the suspension.
The United States alleges a new Russian cruise missile violates the pact.
Franz Klintsevich, deputy chairman of Russia's Committee for Defense and Security, said Russian Federation "will not comply with the treaty unilaterally".
Trump also stated that Washington has "fully adhered" to the accord for over 30 years and said that the U.S. can't be "the only country in the world unilaterally bound by" it.
The US has no nuclear-capable missiles based in Europe; the last of that type and range were withdrawn in line with the INF treaty.
Kingston Reif, director for disarmament at the Arms Control Association, said Thursday that the United States had failed to exhaust diplomatic options to save the treaty.
A few hours before Pompeo's announcement, the NATO Western security alliance issued a statement saying it would "fully support" the USA withdrawal notice.
"So we must prepare for a world without the Treaty", she wrote.
Trump said that on Saturday, the US will "suspend its obligations" under the treaty, meaning it will be freed from its constraints, including the testing and deployment of missiles banned by the pact.
Russian Federation says the missile's maximum range is 480 kilometres (300 miles), within the allowed range. The missile, the Novator 9M729, is known as the SSC-8 by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
However, the second senior administration official downplayed the China impact, saying "This really doesn't have anything to with China". Most analysts are in agreement that Russian Federation is adhering to the New START treaty.
Fears are rising about a potential new arms race in Europe as the United States prepares to suspend a landmark armament control treaty with Russian Federation.
Mr Rybakov said: "The United States imposed a 60-day period during which we had to fulfil their ultimatum".
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