U.S. Officially Withdraws From Arms Control Deal With Russia

The U.S. has been accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty since 2014.
Posted at 7:54 AM, Aug 02, 2019

The U.S. is reportedly gearing up to test a new non-nuclear mobile-launched cruise missile in the next few weeks.

defense official told CNN that the missile was specifically developed to counter Russian aggression. And Reuters reports the U.S. Defense Department will follow that up by testing a conventional intermediate-range ballistic missile in November.

The two missiles would have previously been prohibited under a decades-old nuclear arms contract the U.S. had with Russia. But the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty expired after the Trump administration withdrew from it on Friday.

Let's back up a bit — President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty in 1987. It prohibits land-based nuclear missiles with ranges from 310 to 3,420 miles.

The American government has been accusing Russia of violating the treaty since 2014. But the deal really started falling apart in February when the U.S. announced it would suspend its participation in the treaty in six months.

"Russia has jeopardized the United States' security interest, and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at the time.

In that announcement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russia half a year to come back into compliance with the agreement. But Russia denies accusations that it's violating the treaty. And Russian President Vladimir Putin formally pulled his country out of the deal in July. 

The U.S.' NATO allies said in a statement Friday that they "fully supported" the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the treaty and said "Russia bears sole responsibility" for the deal's demise. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.