The United States announced on Friday it has formally withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Moscow, putting an end to a landmark arms control pact that has limited the development of ground-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
“Russia is solely responsible for the treaty's demise,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Friday announcing the US’ formal withdrawal from the Cold-War era nuclear treaty.
Pompeo said “Russia failed to return to full and verified compliance through the destruction of its noncompliant missile system.”
The US initially announced in February that this would take place on August 2.
NATO allies said in a statement that Russia remains in violation of the INF Treaty, “despite years of U.S. and Allied engagement,” adding that they fully support the US decision to withdraw.
It adds that over the past six months Russia had a “final opportunity” to honor the treaty but failed.
This story is breaking and will be updated.