Washington (December 4, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a long-time Congressional leader on nuclear arms control and nonproliferation issues, released the following statement on the Trump administration’s decision to declare Russia in material breach of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and announcement of its intent to begin withdrawing the United States from the accord in 60 days.
“Withdrawing from the INF Treaty is the absolute wrong approach to the real problem of Russia’s well-documented noncompliance with its treaty obligations,” said Senator Markey. “It makes no sense to give Russia an excuse for its misbehavior while at the same time limiting America’s possible responses to one – re-starting a costly and dangerous Cold War arms race we spent decades trying to end. Strong, American-led diplomacy to force Russia to address its INF non-compliance – not a tit-for-tat arms race that everyone will lose – is the right approach to this problem. The Trump administration should work closely with our NATO allies toward this end, and Congress must block any funding for an INF range ground-launched missiles until the Trump administration meaningfully consults Congress and America’s NATO partners and truly exhausts all diplomatic efforts to return Russia to compliance.”
Since 1987, the INF Treaty has eliminated ground-launched missile systems with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, which had enabled the Soviet Union to target Europe with nuclear cruise missiles. The United States has openly recognized Russia’s noncompliance with its INF Treaty commitments since 2014, when it began confronting Russia for developing and testing a new ground-launched missile that fell within this range.