USA pulls out of Soviet-era nuclear missile pact with Russian Federation

USA pulls out of Soviet-era nuclear missile pact with Russian Federation

USA pulls out of Soviet-era nuclear missile pact with Russian Federation

The expected move, kick-started by President Donald Trump's administration about six months ago, formally ends the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Russian Federation and the United States at the end of the Cold War with the intention of limiting future arms races between the two powers.

"Russia is exclusively responsible for the treaty's demise", Pompeo said in a statement issued at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers' meeting.

But there was clear unease in European capitals, with France's foreign ministry voicing concern that the treaty's collapse "increases the risk of instability in Europe and erodes the worldwide arms control system".

The U.S. cancelled the treaty citing non compliance. "Russia failed to return to full and verified compliance through the destruction of its noncompliant missile system", he said. Russian Federation breached the pact by deploying several SSC-8 cruise missile systems.

President Vladimir Putin says Russia does not want an arms race and he has promised he will not deploy Russian missiles unless the United States does so first.

The Pentagon chief said the United States would like to deploy "a capability sooner rather than later", but declined to provide a detailed timeline. But advocates for a USA land-based missile response say that is the best way to deter Chinese use of its muscular land-based missile forces. He said: "On Feb 2nd, 2019 the United States gave Russian Federation six months to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty".

The INF deal was seen as one of two key arms deals between Russian Federation and the U.S. - the other being the New Start treaty, which keeps the nuclear arsenals of both countries well below their cold war peak.

"Russia's non-compliance under the treaty jeopardizes US supreme interests as Russia's development and fielding of a treaty-violating missile system represents a direct threat to the United States and our allies and partners", Pompeo said.

"Europe must not become the scene of a new arms race", Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said.

'As a result, the United States decision to withdraw from the Treaty, a decision fully supported by NATO Allies, is now taking effect.

"We have been speaking to Russian Federation about that, for a pact for nuclear [weapons] so that they get rid of some, we get rid of some, we would probably have to put China in there", Trump said.

Pompeo said Friday the USA was "seeking a new era of arms control that moves beyond the bilateral treaties of the past", calling on Beijing to join discussions.

Trump has called New START "just another bad deal" made by former President Barack Obama's administration. Although formally not a party to the INF Treaty, Ukraine was strictly adhering to its provisions throughout the entire period of its existence.

"Russia alone is to blame for this situation", the senior official said. "We'll see what happens", he told reporters.

A leaked report recently had revealed the locations of U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nuclear weapons bases -Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in The Netherlands, and Incirlik in Turkey - in Europe, which had contributed to the European debate.

The end of the treaty comes amid rising doubts about whether the two countries will extend an agreement on long-range nuclear weapons scheduled to expire in 2021.

In February, Washington had given Moscow six months to destroy the 9M729 missile it has said violates the agreement. Moscow therefore argues it can not verify them in the way the treaty says it must be able to.

In February, Trump determined that Moscow was in material breach of the treaty and the US suspended its own obligations under the agreement.

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