Trump makes it official: U.S. is leaving key nuclear treaty

Trump makes it official: U.S. is leaving key nuclear treaty

Trump makes it official: U.S. is leaving key nuclear treaty

USA officials said on Thursday that the United States will soon announce plans to suspend compliance with a landmark nuclear missile pact with Russian Federation, responding to an alleged violation of the treaty by Moscow.

President Donald Trump issued a statement saying Russian Federation had violated the INF Treaty with "impunity, covertly developing and fielding a prohibited missile system that poses a direct threat to our allies and troops overseas".

However, the end of the treaty could also serve Russia's strategic interests, removing any obstacle to Moscow deploying intermediate-range missiles that could reach Europe and China.

"Tomorrow, the United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which will be completed in six months, " Trump said in a written statement. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on the following day that the United States side had provided no evidence to prove Russia's alleged violations of the treaty.

The INF Treaty, signed in 1987, is a landmark arms control agreement that bars the United States and Russian Federation from having ground-launched cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,000 kilometers (310 to 3,100 miles).

Last week the Russian military displayed the nuclear-capable 9M729 missile system to the media and foreign military officials in an attempt to prove it does not violate the treaty. "And it's unfair for the United States to voluntarily restrict itself in a bilateral treaty when one side of that partnership (Russia) is failing to live by its obligations".

The US argues that Russian Federation has jeopardised the INF treaty for years by deploying ground-launched missiles that fall within the banned range of 500km to 5,500km.

With the Trump administration on Friday fulfilling its months-long promise to withdraw from the Cold War-era arms control treaty with Russia-despite warnings that such a move would only win applause from nuclear weapons manufacturers-a group of Democratic lawmakers and Sen.

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"For any arms control treaty to be effective, every party must abide by its terms", she said.

"Allies fully support this action".

"We can not be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other", the president said.

"We hope they'll come back into compliance".

President Donald Trump and his senior officials had been signaling for months that they were ready to pull out of the INF treaty, which the United States and Europe accuses Moscow of violating since 2014. Both Russia and USA -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have shored up their mutual borders, conducting drills of historic magnitude in recent years. Russian Federation denies that it has been in violation.

For six years, both the Trump and Obama administrations have raised concerns about Russia's noncompliance.

However, the second senior administration official downplayed the China impact, saying "This really doesn't have anything to with China". Bolton has a much more clear-eyed view of Vladimir Putin and his imperial ambitions than Trump or his previous two predecessors had until they themselves got burned badly enough.

"Russia continues to deny its violations".

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