The U.S. is backing out of a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday morning. The Trump administration argues that Russia isn't keeping up its end of the bargain of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) arms treaty, which was has been a key component of European security since the Cold War.
"For far too long, Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with impunity, covertly developing and fielding a prohibited missile system that poses a direct threat to our allies and troops abroad," a statement from President Trump said. "The United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which will be completed in six months unless Russia comes back into compliance by destroying all of its violating missiles, launchers, and associated equipment."
"Our NATO Allies fully support us, because they understand the threat posed by Russia's violation and the risks to arms control posed by ignoring treaty violations," the president's statement continued.
Pompeo said the U.S. can "no longer" be restricted by the treaty when it isn't kept.
"Russia has jeopardized the United States' security interests, and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it," Pompeo told reporters in a brief news conference at the State Department Friday morning.
"It does no good to sign an agreement if the party isn't going to comply with it," he added.
If Russia doesn't return to full compliance of the treaty within six months, the treaty will be terminated. Any new agreement, Pompeo said, must be enforceable and verifiable, if one is ever reached. Pompeo said he's hopeful the U.S. can put its relationship with Russia on better footing.
— CBS News' Christina Ruffini contributed to this report
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