NATO allies 'fully support' USA action on INF treaty

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday announced that the USA is withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a major pact with Russian Federation that has played a key role in European security since the Cold War.

In a Reuters interview, Thompson said she expected Washington to stop complying with the treaty as soon as this weekend, a move she said would allow the USA military to immediately begin developing its own longer-range missiles in Europe.

Tensions have raged for months over the fate of the INF agreement signed in 1987 by U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Pompeo's announcement starts a 180-day clock to complete withdrawal unless Russian Federation returns to compliance with the 1987 agreement.

Along those borders, the US installed missile defense systems that Russian Federation claims could be used offensively, undermining its national security and violating 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 United States, "this has nothing to do with China".

Russian Federation says the missile's maximum range is 480 kilometres (300 miles), within the allowed range. "The answer to that is no". It was the first arms control agreement to ban a full class of weapons. Withdrawal now requires an additional six-month window, according to the treaty's terms. He further threatened that the accord would be entirely terminated if Russian Federation doesn't fulfil the US' demands regarding the alleged treaty violations.

Some prominent Republican foreign-policy experts, including top Trump aides, have criticized that agreement as one-sided. "This era of stability is put at great risk by President Trump's decision to unilaterally pull out of the INF Treaty".

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Friday Russia regrets the US decision and accused the USA of being "unwilling to hold any substantial talks".

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Russian Federation has hit back at America's accusations, admitting to the cruise missile but explaining its range means it is not covered by the treaty. "You have to be concerned he will welcome any excuse not to extend New START, just as he welcomed this reason to kill the INF Treaty". If Putin and Xi Jinping are drawing closer, they might want to settle this quickly before it gets out of hand - and before the USA can change the status quo in the Pacific with a rapid deployment of nuclear systems, which we can afford and Putin, at least, can't.

"So there most likely will no immediate arms race", Felgenhauer said. Since China has never been a signatory of the INF Treaty, it has been able to build up a vast arsenal of nonnuclear weapons, such as the DF-21 "carrier killer", that now threaten freedom of navigation in the Pacific. The INF Treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers).

US withdrawal raises the prospect of further deterioration in U.S.

A senior United States administration official denied Beijing is a factor.

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

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

The briefing also comes one day after an attempt to rescue the treaty failed.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. will be suspending its obligations under the provisions of the INF Treaty starting on 2 February. In a statement, the NATO nations said that "Allies fully support this action" and "Russia will bear sole responsibility for the end of the Treaty".

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