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International News

Feb 02, 2019
7:02AM

US announces withdrawal from key Cold War nuclear arms treaty with Russia

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US President Donald Trump today announced that the US will withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia, alleging that Kremlin violated the Cold War-era pact.

Mr. Trump said, US will begin withdrawing from the pact tommorow and will exit the treaty in six months unless Russia comes back into compliance by destroying all of its violating missiles, launchers, and associated equipment.

The announcement comes after heated exchange between the two powers recently failed to resolve a long-running accusation that Russia is violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The US alleged in 2014 that Russia had tested a weapon, the 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile, at a range that fell under the treaty. In 2017, the US said Russia had deployed that weapon.

In October, Trump said the US would withdraw from the Cold War-era pact and sent national security advisor John Bolton to personally deliver the decision to the Kremlin.

Russia, however, said the relevant missile was never tested at distances banned under the agreement and has called on the US to show proof of a violation.

Russia also has accused the US of breaching the treaty with its missile-defence systems in Europe, a charge Washington rejects.

The INF treaty, signed in 1987 by then US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, prohibited the development and deployment of ground-launched nuclear missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 kilometers.

The agreement forced each country to dismantle more than 2,500 missiles and kept nuclear-tipped cruise missiles off the European continent for three decades. 

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