U.S. Gives Russia a Deadline on Nuclear Treaty
Marking a rare instance of alignment between NATO and President Trump, both sides agree that Russia has been and continues to be in violation of the INF Treaty. US Secretary of State Pompeo has announced the Trump administration’s current policy on the violations and the potential for withdrawal. The US has promised to begin formal proceedings to cancel the treaty within a period of 60 days unless Russia complies with the terms of the treaty. The formal termination process would then take six-months, during which time the U.S. would not breach the treaty. NATO issued a statement affirming that the US has kept to the terms of the treaty, agreed upon in 1987, but that Russia has violated it for several years with the development and deployment of the SSC-8. “We call on Russia to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance with the INF Treaty…it is now up to Russia to preserve the INF treaty,” stated NATO Secretary general Jens Stoltenberg. Russia has not provided any firm response, but has continued to deny any breach of the treaty on their part. Ongoing weaponization of the South China Sea by China, who is not a member of the treaty and has been able to develop a competitive edge against the US in that area, has been cited as a leading reason for the US to highlight Russian violations and withdraw.