United States withdrawing from landmark nuclear arms treaty with Russian Federation

United States withdrawing from landmark nuclear arms treaty with Russian Federation

Last week, the head of Russia's military's missile and artillery forces said the new missile's maximum range fell short of the treaty's lower limit.

The US president went on to say that once such an agreement is reached, Moscow and Washington would be able to achieve "an outstanding relationship on economic, trade, political, and military levels".

"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.

The announcement starts a 180-day clock to complete withdrawal "unless Russian Federation returns to compliance" with the agreement. "We continue, therefore, to call on Russian Federation to come back into compliance and fully respect the INF Treaty".

The official said that while Putin's development of the new missile was primarily in response to new Chinese capabilities, for the U.S., "this has nothing to do with China".

"Over five years of engagement have produced little effect" to getting Russian Federation in line with the agreement, the first official said. "The answer to that is no". The agreement was the first of its kind to eliminate an entire class of missiles.

At the same time, the US will begin the process of withdrawing from the treaty, which involves delivering a diplomatic notice to the Russians, as well as the former Soviet nations that, by dint of being part of the USSR when the treaty was signed in 1987, are required to be alerted to American withdrawal.

The Kremlin denies violating the treaty.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote on his Twitter page that without the INF Treaty, the world will become less safe, adding that it doesn't need debates about a build-up of armaments, but arms control treaties.

Kingston Reif, director for disarmament at the Arms Control Association, said on Thursday that the U.S. had failed to exhaust diplomatic options to save the treaty.

Trump has warned the United States might junk the treaty and begin pursuing its own expansive missile program.

Senior US administration officials countered Thursday by laying out Russia's repeated efforts to get the US to agree to dissolve the treaty and years of American effort to get Russian Federation to comply, including 35 diplomatic engagements ranging from the highest political levels to technical talks.

The ground-based nuclear tipped cruise missiles covered by the bilateral agreement can fly between 310 to 3,100 miles, making them a threat to Europe, where officials have unanimously backed the USA decision, even as they consider their next steps and admit having little to no optimism that the treaty can be saved.

"This would be a fantastic thing for Russian Federation and the United States, and would also be great for the world", Trump said.

At the same time, the officials acknowledged a USA assessment that China has roughly 1,000 missiles that would be considered INF non-compliant.

"This is in reality, under worldwide law, Russia's final chance", a senior administration official said.

"So we must prepare for a world without the Treaty", she wrote.

Indeed, past year the then-commander of U.S. Pacific Command warned that the United States' adherence to the INF Treaty has already eroded its lead in the region.

Trump then issued a statement asserting that the U.S.

Franz Klintsevich, deputy chairman of Russia's Committee for Defense and Security, said Russian Federation "will not comply with the treaty unilaterally".

The U.S. Navy's top officer, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, said he had not discussed the INF Treaty with his Pacific counterparts during a recent trip to the region that included China and Japan, among other stops.

"Allies fully support this action".

"I think that most of the allies and partners would realize that you just can't be the only one to abide by a treaty", Richardson told reporters at the Pentagon.

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