U.S. produces new nuclear warhead while accusing Russian Federation of violating INF treaty

Saturday, 02 Feb, 2019

The United States announced on Friday it will withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russian Federation in six months unless Moscow ends its alleged violations of the landmark 1987 arms control pact.

"When an agreement is so brazenly disregarded, and our security so openly threatened, we must respond", Pompeo said at the State Department.

The Trump administration took a tough line with Russian Federation today over violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

If the United States announces it will suspend compliance with the INF nuclear missile pact with Russia, Germany will use the six-month period that the formal withdrawal period lasts to hold further discussions, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

Under the legislation, "no funds may be appropriated or otherwise made available for the procurement, flight testing, or deployment of a United States shorter- or intermediate-range ground launched ballistic or cruise missile system with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers until the secretary of defense, in concurrence with the secretary of state and the director of national intelligence, submits a report and offers a briefing to the appropriate committees of Congress" that both meet seven specific conditions detailed in the bill.

"Moscow reserves the right to a corresponding reactions and response measures [following the US' withdrawal from the INF Treaty]". Later that same month, Putin warned European countries that accepted USA missile positions "that they will be subjecting their own territory to the threat of a possible retaliatory strike".

By contrast, much of Beijing's growing nuclear arsenal now consists of missiles that fall into the distance ranges that are prohibited by the treaty that applies only to Russian Federation and the United States. "And it's unfair for the USA to voluntarily restrict itself in a bilateral treaty when one side of that partnership (Russia) is failing to live by its obligations". Russian Federation has denied violating the INF treaty, accused the USA of violations, and said withdrawal from the Cold War accord would trigger an arms race.

"I support the withdrawal of the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty".

However, Pranay Vaddi, a former US diplomat who worked on arms control for the State Department, said the United States would be hard-pressed to find allies in Asia willing to house intermediate-range missiles, nuclear or not.

A few hours before Pompeo's announcement, the NATO Western security alliance issued a statement saying it would "fully support" the USA withdrawal notice.

"We can not be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other".

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Friday Russia regrets the US decision and accused the USA of being "unwilling to hold any substantial talks".

Trump said that on Saturday, the US will "suspend its obligations" under the treaty, meaning it will be freed from its constraints, including the testing and deployment of missiles banned by the pact. Reynders said Friday: "I hope that our American colleagues, including outside the treaty framework, are going to keep working on this dialogue with Russian Federation".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the U.S.is pulling out of a treaty with Russian Federation that's been a centerpiece of arms control since the Cold War. The missile, the Novator 9M729, is known as the SSC-8 by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

He also questioned the utility of placing ground-based missiles on tiny patches of land in the Pacific when the USA military already has the ability to launch missiles from aircraft, ships, and submarines deployed to the region. Bolton has a much more clear-eyed view of Vladimir Putin and his imperial ambitions than Trump or his previous two predecessors had until they themselves got burned badly enough.

A senior U.S. administration official denied Beijing is a factor.