Receive breaking news and special reports. The news and stories that mattered delivered the weekday mornings.
By Abigail Williams
"Either we bury our heads in the sand or we take reasonable action to respond to blatantly disregard for Russia's explicit provisions of the INF Treaty". Pompeo said at a news conference at NATO headquarters.
The Interstate Nuclear Power Treaty was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Pompeo accused Russia of defrauding the arms control agreement on a long list of alleged Russian violations around the world, including Georgia, Ukraine and Syria, as well as on election coups and the assassination of former spy Sergei Skripal with a nervous agent in the UK and the recent incident in which Russian warships fired at Ukrainian naval vessels in Kerch Strait.
The move brings the US one step closer to the threats of retreating from the Cold War era, which prevents US and Russian possession of any land-based cruise missile that has a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers – 310 to 3,410 Miles – can reach. The agreement was primarily intended to keep ground-based nuclear weapons out of Europe.
The NATO foreign ministers fully supported the US findings, for the first time that all 29 member states found Russia in a "material violation" against the US arms control pact.
"We urge Russia to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance," the statement said after Tuesday's session. "It is now up to Russia to uphold the INF Treaty."
The 60-day deadline was given at the request of European members to allow Russia to regain compliance. Pompeo said the US would welcome the return of Russia.
"We spoke a lot with the Russians," Pompeo said, citing at least thirty discussions over five years. "We hope they will change the course, but so far there is no indication that they intend to do so."
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, told the Russian state news agency TASS in response to the announcement: "Russia strictly adheres to the terms of the treaty, and the US side knows that."
On Saturday, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of "a double violation of the INF Treaty". 19659007] In 2017, White House National Security Officers said Russia used a cruise missile in contravention of the contract. Earlier, the Obama administration accused the Russians of violating the pact by developing and testing a banned cruise missile. Russia has repeatedly denied that it violated the treaty.
Pompeo said on Tuesday that Russia had tested the SSC-8 cruise missiles since the mid-2000s and tested them in areas beyond the INF contract. "Its range makes it a direct threat to Europe," said Pompeo.
"Russia's response has been consistent: to deny any wrongdoing, to demand more information, and to raise gratuitous counter-charges," Pompeo continued to press forward, filling several battalions of SSC-8 missiles.
"If Russia recognizes its violations and fully and demonstrably reconciles, we will naturally welcome this approach," said Pompeo. "But Russia and only Russia can take this step."
Russia's failure to comply with regulations would trigger a US six-month notice period in which the US would suspend its own obligations under the EU's INF treaty.
"The 60-day delay in informing the US formal exit from the INF treaty provides little time and will be of little value if NATO governments, together with Russia and the United States, actually try to Negotiating the solution Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, warned
"Otherwise, a new missile race in Europe undermining European security and the extension of the 2010 New START agreement between Washington and Moscow are all the more threatening", said Kimball.