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Trump administration to suspend nuclear treaty with Russia

The Trump administration announced Friday that it would suspend its obligations under a decades old Cold War arms control pact with Russia on Saturday, citing Moscow's violations of the treaty.

The White House announced the decision to stop complying with the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in a statement early Friday, just before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the move in remarks from the State Department.

“Russia has refused to take any step to return to real and verifiable compliance over these 60 days,” Pompeo said.

“The United States will therefore suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty effective Feb. 2, and we will provide Russia and the other treaty parties with formal notice that the United States is withdrawing from the INF Treaty effective in six months pursuant to Article 15 of the treaty,” he continued.

The U.S. has publicly accused Russia of violating the treaty since 2014 during the Obama administration by fielding a cruise missile known as the 9M729. The agreement, signed by then-President Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, bans nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

Russia has repeatedly denied violating the treaty, leading to an impasse in diplomatic talks aimed at bringing Moscow back into compliance.

“We provided Russia an ample window of time to mend its ways and for Russia to honor its commitment,” Pompeo said. “Tomorrow, that time runs out.”

Pompeo on Friday accused Moscow of “jeopardizing” U.S. national security with its violations.

“Russia has jeopardized the United States’ security interests and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it,” Pompeo said.

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