US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced his country’s formal withdrawal from the short- and medium-range missile ban treaty signed with the Soviet Union in 1987 as of February 2.
“The United States is suspending its obligations under the missile treaty from February 2”, Pompeo told a news conference on Friday.
“If Russia doesn’t return to full and verifiable compliance with the terms of the agreement within six months and the missiles that violate the provisions of the Convention and the launchers and related facilities are not destroyed, the treaty will be terminated”, he said.
“Russia’s failure to implement the agreement undermines the chances of moving bilateral relations towards a better direction”, Pompeo said, adding that “it poses risks to millions of Europeans and Americans”.
However, Pompeo expressed Washington’s willingness to continue negotiations with Moscow on the issue of arms control, expressing the hope that Russia will return to fulfill its obligations under the missile treaty.
On October 20, US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the treaty, accusing the Russian side of violating its conditions by manufacturing 9337 rockets.
On Dec 4th, the United States demanded that Russian Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo destroy or modify the missile to comply with the criteria set out in the agreement within 60 days, before Feb 2nd, and then threatened to suspend his country’s participation in the agreement.
For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry held a press conference in which it offered to foreign military attaches and journalists the rocket, confirming Russia’s total commitment to the implementation of the missile treaty.
For its part, the Kremlin responded by an announcing that Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the work of the medium and short-range missile treaty.
The Kremlin said in response to the White House announcement on Friday that it would suspend the work on the medium-power nuclear treaty with Russia as of Saturday.
“Russia has also suspended the medium- and short-range missile treaty”, Putin said in a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday.
“Russia’s arms control initiative has not received support from partners looking for formal ways to dismantle the global security system”, Putin said.
“Russia will not deploy medium- and short-range missiles in Europe or other parts of the world unless the United States publishes these missiles in those areas”, he said.
“We will wait until our partners are ready to engage in an equal and objective dialogue on disarmament”, he said.