by Tyler Durden
Update: As we previewed below, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the US will withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty immediately, prompting threats of a Russian “response” from Moscow.
According to RT, Pompeo said the US could return to compliance with the treaty if Moscow meets Washington’s demands within the next 180 days. To convince the US to back down, Washington has insisted that Russia cease development of a new cruise missile. Moscow has repeatedly denied claims that it’s in violation of the treaty.
The withdrawal, which has been expected for months, will formally take place on Saturday.
Trump said the US’s NATO allies support the decision to withdraw from the treaty, which has been a cornerstone of European security for years. The US has also expressed concerns that its compliance with the treaty has benefited China, which isn’t a party to the agreement.
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In a sign that Russia might soon be deploying those new hypersonic missiles that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been showing off lately, Reuters reported that the US is preparing to suspend compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, citing four US officials, opening the door to the reintroduction of medium-range ground-based nuclear arms in the area around Russia.
The officials said the the suspension will kick off a six month countdown that could lead to the dissolution of the treaty. However, Washington could opt to remain a part of the pact if Moscow decides to become compliance with the 1987 Cold War-era treaty.