Senator Markey Statement on Reports the Trump Administration Plans to Withdraw from INF Treaty: Naïve, Reckless

 

Washington (October 19, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and longtime Congressional leader on nuclear arms control issues, released the following statement in response to media reports that the Trump administration is planning to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. President Ronald Reagan negotiated the INF Treaty to help bring about the end of the Cold War and to serve as a cornerstone of American and European security because he knew “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” 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.

 

“Pulling out of the INF Treaty plays squarely into Russia’s hands while undermining America’s security and betraying our NATO allies,” said Senator Markey. “Without question, Russia is violating the INF Treaty. Threatening American withdrawal will not increase our negotiating leverage, it only falls hook, line, and sinker for Putin’s predictable attempts to goad the United States into justifying Russian noncompliance. The Trump administration’s naïveté is surpassed only by its recklessness. It should instead work more closely with our NATO allies to force Russia back into compliance.”

 

“The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly ratified this seminal arms control agreement, which has strong bipartisan support. The Trump administration has another thing coming if it thinks it can simply withdraw from this landmark treaty without a fight in Congress.”

 

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