Pompeo says United States suspending landmark nuclear deal because of Russian violations

US planned to ditch INF in advance now seeks reason why it should – Putin on Pompeo ultimatum

US planned to ditch INF in advance now seeks reason why it should – Putin on Pompeo ultimatum

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a NATO meeting Tuesday that Washington would suspend its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days due to Russia's alleged "cheating".

Speaking to journalists after a meeting of Nato foreign ministers in Brussels, Pompeo outlined longstanding USA allegations of Russian violations of the cold war-era treaty with the development and deployment of a new ground-launched cruise missile, which he said was part of a wider pattern of lawlessness by the Kremlin.

The US has said it will withdraw from a landmark nuclear missile treaty in 60 days if Russian Federation does not address its alleged violations of the pact.

Pompeo said there was no reason why the United States "should continue to cede this crucial military advantage" to rival powers. The treaty is set to expire in 2021, but Russian Federation has expressed an interest in having it renewed. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said that his country is suspending its obligations under the agreement.

The ministers called on Russian Federation "to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance".

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization signaled Russian Federation must comply soon with a landmark arms-control agreement or face the deal's demise, papering over internal differences about a US threat to withdraw from the pact.

China, North Korea, and Iran are not obligated by the treaty's limitations, and, "This leaves them free to build all the intermediate range missiles they would like", he said.

"Abandoning the INF Treaty would be a step toward a new arms race, undermining strategic stability and increasing the threat of miscalculation or technical failure leading to an immensely destructive war", they wrote in the Washington Post in a commentary published minutes after Pompeo's announcement. "We hope that they'll change course, but there's been absolutely no indication that they'll do so". If Russia failed to comply, the US would consider the treaty to be null and void.

In Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that "Russia strictly complies with the provisions of the treaty, and the American side is aware of that". He added that Russia's actions "greatly undermine America's national security and that of our allies".

Ukrainian authorities said Tuesday that shipping traffic has resumed on the Sea, but a senior U.S. State Department official said that at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "no one would see that as a satisfactory move or the end of the matter".

The former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and former USA secretary state, George Shultz, who helped negotiate the terms of the INF treaty at the 1986 Reykjavik summit between Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, warned of the dire consequences of ditching the treaty.

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