WASHINGTON — The United States on Friday is likely to announce its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, according to information obtained by dpa.
The U.S. has informed its NATO allies of its intention, according to the information. The alliance plans to support the decision through a declaration as soon as possible after the announcement is made.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to speak at a news conference in Washington on Friday morning.
There has been no formal indication from the State Department that the topic of the briefing will be the INF treaty, but State Department officials indicated in comments Thursday that the United States is prepared to stop abiding by the bilateral midrange nuclear arms treaty.
The briefing also comes one day after an attempt to rescue the treaty failed. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday that Russia sees “no progress” on maintaining the more than 30-year-old treaty.
“The U.S. position remains rather tough and ultimatum-like,” Ryabkov said in comments carried by state news agency Tass. Ryabkov spoke after meeting U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control Andrea Thompson in Beijing.
The Trump administration warned in December that it would walk away from the bilateral treaty if Russia did not comply within 60 days, setting Feb. 2 — Saturday — as the deadline.
The U.S. alleges that Russia’s 9M729 ground-launched missiles violate the INF restriction on midrange nuclear forces. It says the missiles’ capabilities are within the banned range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers and wants Russia to destroy them.
Russia has denied the accusations and says scuttling the treaty would jeopardize international stability.
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