U.S. pulling out of INF Treaty unless Russia falls back in line by February

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:28 AM PT — Thursday, January 31, 2019

The clock is running out for Russia to comply with the nuclear treaty it has with the U.S. Little progress was made Thursday as representatives from the U.S. met with their Russian counterparts at a conference held in Beijing.

The U.S. is demanding Russia destroy its arsenal of long-range missiles, arguing the weapons violate policies put in place by the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

President Trump said he would pull out of the agreement by early February if Moscow doesn’t start dismantling the missile system.

Delegation members from the UN Security Council’s five permanent members (P5) from left; Andrea Thompson of the U.S., Fu Cong of China and Nicolas Roche of France attend a panel discussion after a Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) conference in Beijing, China, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) conference in Beijing consists of five permanent members (P5) China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)

“Arms control regimes only work if standards are maintained, and if there are consequences for violating those standards, so if parties are to the treaty, and you abide by that standard, that’s what we expect,” stated Andrea Thompson, U.S. Under Secretary of Arms Control and International Security. “If you don’t abide by that standard and the other parties allow it to manifest, you’ve now set a new standard, and that undermines all of our arms control regimes.”

Russia, however, believes its missile system is not in violation of the treaty. Russian officials at the meeting slammed the ultimatum issued by the U.S. as “blackmailing” efforts to stop “dialogue.