Pompeo gives Russia 60-day ultimatum over nuke arms pact
SECRETARY of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday the United States will withdraw from a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty with Russia unless Moscow comes into compliance within 60 days.
“The United States declares today it has found Russia in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations as a remedy effective in 60 days unless Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance,” Pompeo said in Belgium.
Foreign ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization also accused Russia of breaching the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with the United States, in support of Washington’s position on Russian violations.
“Allies have concluded that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security,” they said in a statement after a meeting, in which Pompeo also took part.
The ministers said they “strongly support the finding of the United States that Russia is in material breach of its obligations under the INF Treaty,” the statement said.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in October that he will withdraw the United States from the INF treaty that limits the size of each nation’s arsenal of missiles.
The United States has long contended that Russia has been violating the pact by deploying a range of tactical nuclear weapons to intimidate former Soviet states that have aligned with the West.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, speaks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.