Washington DC – The United States on Friday will formally withdraw from a landmark arms control treaty with Russia, claiming it undermines its national security interests.
The move means that only one, soon-to-expire, arms control treaty between the US and Russia remains, leaving critics of the Trump administration and proliferation experts worried about the potential for a new arms race.
In February, Washington had announced that in six months it would suspend its participation in the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty unless Moscow destroyed missiles which the US and its NATO allies alleged that they violate the agreement.
“We can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on February 1.
US President Donald Trump later alluded to the possibility of a new treaty, saying, “I hope we’re able to get everybody in a big, beautiful room and do a new treaty that would be much better,” though the specific nature of such a treaty remains unclear.
For its part, Russia denied the US allegations and accused Washington of flouting the treaty itself, before giving notice that it would also pull out of the bilateral agreement.
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