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USA suspends compliance on landmark weapons treaty with Russian Federation

USA suspends compliance on landmark weapons treaty with Russian Federation

The treaty bans land-launched nuclear and conventional missiles with a range between 500km and 5,500km.

The INF treaty was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 - meant to prevent both countries from positioning short and intermediate-range, land-based nuclear missiles in Europe.

But some experts fear the exit could trigger a new nuclear arms race with Washington's former Cold War rival and may jeopardize another critical nuclear arms control agreement: the so-called New START treaty. And its demise has some analysts anxious about a new arms race.

Pompeo says the USA will suspend its obligations to the treaty on Saturday.

This official noted the "remarkable unity" among the United States and its European allies, but European officials say they're concerned about the treaty dissolving and say they will use the six-month window to urge Russian Federation to comply.

"We can not be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other". A team of Soviet inspectors were on hand to observe the final elimination.

The Europeans are keen to avoid a repeat of a crisis in 1983, when North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies made a decision to deploy USA cruise and Pershing 2 ballistic missiles as negotiations with Moscow faltered over Russia's stationing of SS-20 missiles in Eastern Europe.

America's NATO allies have said they "fully support" America's decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty.

European Union foreign ministers raised concerns Friday about the spread of nuclear weapons as the United States readied to pull out of a key Cold War-era treaty, blaming Russian Federation for violating it.

Russia's top negotiator on the treaty, deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov, in an interview broadcast Friday insisted Moscow was in compliance.

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US officials also have expressed concern that China, which isn't part of the treaty, is deploying large numbers of missiles in Asia that the USA can't counter because it's bound by the treaty. Leaving the treaty would allow the Trump administration to counter the Chinese, but it's unclear how it would do that.

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"Come February 2, this weekend, if the Department of Defense chooses to do that, they'll be able to do that".

Washington has said that if Russian Federation does not return to compliance, it will start the six-month process of leaving the pact from February 2. The 60-day deadline expires on Saturday.

According to to the Secretary of State, Russia has six months to salvage the deal while the USA goes through the process of withdrawing from it.

Pompeo said in early December that the USA was giving Russian Federation two more months to get back in compliance with the treaty.

European officials discussing the fallout in the coming months point to a possible increase in Russian cyber activities, including its influence campaigns, Russia is likely to use the United States withdrawal as an excuse to deploy systems elsewhere and the certainty of finger-pointing, as Moscow works to assign blame. Tomorrow that time runs out. "The position of the American side is very tough and like an ultimatum".

She added that Moscow was still open to dialogue on the issue. Mike Pompeo warned nearly two months ago that the USA would pull out today if Russian Federation did not "come back into compliance".

Zakharova said Washington provided "no evidence, no satellite photo.no evidence" to prove that Russian Federation had violated the treaty and insisted that her country had "always agreed to hold talks on the INF Treaty".

"There's a lot of discussion about China", this official said, briefing reporters on the suspension.

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