US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said that Washington is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
"On Feb 2nd, 2019 the U.S. gave Russia six months to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Russia refused, so the treaty ends today. The U.S. will not remain party to a treaty when others violate it. Russia bears sole responsibility," he wrote on Twitter.
The Russian Foreign Ministry likewise officially confirmed that the operation of the INF Treaty had been terminated at the initiative of the United States as of August 2.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov earlier told TASS that the United States’ steps to dismantle a number of crucial arms control agreements, including the INF Treaty, would eventually backfire on Washington.
In December 2018, the US demanded that Russia destroy its new 9M729 cruise missiles, which, according to the US and its NATO allies, violate the INF Treaty. Russia rejected these demands, saying that the technical parameters of these missiles comply with the treaty’s provisions. The United States and NATO member-countries ignored all the information provided by Russia, including the presentation of that missile to defense attaches.