The United States has officially withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, an agreement with the Russian Federation that limited the types of weapons systems the nations involved could pursue.
"Russia has failed to comply with its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and as such, the United States has withdrawn from the INF Treaty effective today, Aug. 2, 2019," Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said in a statement today. "This withdrawal is a direct result of Russia's sustained and repeated violations of the treaty over many years and multiple presidential administrations."
The agreement, signed in December 1987 by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, limited both nations from fielding both "short range" and "intermediate range" land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and missile launchers that could be used to house either nuclear or conventional payloads.
Esper said that despite U.S. objections, the Russians have continued to violate the treaty, and this is why the U.S. withdrew.
"The facts are clear. The Russian Federation is producing and fielding an offensive capability that was prohibited by the INF Treaty," Esper said. "Russia's material breach erodes the foundation of effective arms control and the security of the United States and our allies and partners."
Treaty Between The United States Of America And The Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics On The Elimination Of Their Intermediate-Range And Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), U.S. Department of State, 8 Dec 1987