US pulls out of Cold Warera nuclear treaty blaming Russia

first_imgWASHINGTON — The United States announced Friday that it was pulling out of a landmark nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, accusing Moscow of violating the Cold War-era pact with “impunity” by continuing to develop banned missiles.President Donald Trump said Russia has been secretly developing “a prohibited missile system that poses a direct threat to our allies and troops abroad.” He said the U.S. had adhered to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty since it was signed in 1987, but Russia has not.“We cannot be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other,” Trump said in a written statement.Some analysts worry the demise of the centerpiece of superpower arms control could fuel a new arms race. U.S. officials fear that China, which is not party to the treaty, is gaining a significant military advantage in Asia by deploying large numbers of missiles with ranges beyond the treaty’s limit.Trump said the U.S. will “suspend its obligations” under the treaty on Saturday, meaning it will be freed from its constraints that included the banning of testing and deployment of missiles. At the same time, the U.S. will begin withdrawing from the treaty, which will be effective in six months, he said.An American withdrawal had been expected for months after years of unresolved dispute over Russian compliance with the pact. It was the first arms control measure to ban an entire class of weapons: ground-launched cruise missiles with a range between 500 kilometers (310 miles) and 5,500 kilometers (3,400 miles).last_img read more