President Donald Trump announced Friday his decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia.
The president noted “for far too long” Russia had violated the treaty, and said he would begin the process to withdraw unless Russia demonstrated compliance with the agreement.
“The United States has fully adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years, but we will not remain constrained by its terms while Russia misrepresents its actions,” Trump wrote in a statement sent to reporters.
The president reasserted his commitment to Europe’s NATO allies as well as a commitment to “effective” arms control treaties.
He also signaled a willingness to work with Russia for a closer and better relationship, if they would comply with the treaty.
“We stand ready to engage with Russia on arms control negotiations that meet these criteria, and, importantly, once that is done, develop, perhaps for the first time ever, an outstanding relationship on economic, trade, political, and military levels,” he wrote.
The Cold War-era treaty was first signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to help reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons in 1987. The United States first declared Russia in violation of the treaty in 2014, but the Russian government has not taken significant action to comply.