The United States will suspend compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia on Saturday and formally withdraw in six months if Moscow does not end its alleged violation of the pact, he Secretary of State,Mr. Mike Pompeo ,said on Friday.
The US would reconsider its withdrawal if Russia, which denies violating the landmark 1987 arms control pact, came into compliance with the treaty, which bans either side from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.
'Russia has refused to take any steps to return (to) real and verifiable compliance,' Mr. Pompeo told reporters. 'We will provide Russia and the other treaty parties with formal notice that the US is withdrawing from the INF treaty, effective in six months.
'If Russia does not return to full and verifiable compliance with the treaty within this six-month period by verifiably destroying its INF-violating missiles, their launchers, and associated equipment, the treaty will terminate' The US alleges a new Russian cruise missile violates the pact. The missile, the Novator 9M729, is known as the SSC-8 by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
Russia says the missile’s range puts it outside the treaty, and has accused the US of inventing a false pretext to exit a treaty that it wants to leave anyway so it can develop new missiles. Russia also has rejected a US demand to destroy the new missile.
Kremlin spokesman, Mr. Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on Friday the US had been unwilling to discuss the issue. Some experts believe the collapse of the INF treaty could undermine other arms control agreements and speed an erosion of the global system designed to block the spread of nuclear arms.