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    INF Exit Weakens US Credibility, Sets National Security Back - Congressman Castro

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    Historic Russian-US Nuclear Accord Terminated (19)
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) hurts US national security and weakens American credibility, Congressman Joaquin Castro said on Friday.

    "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the United States government has withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty sets back US national security and significantly weakens our credibility with friends and foes alike", Castro said in the release.

    The United States earlier in the day officially withdrew from the Cold War-era INF Treaty over Russia's alleged violations of the agreement.

    The congressman from Texas said the decision is also an example of President Donald Trump's efforts to undermine multilateralism and retreat from global leadership.

    Castro urged the Trump administration to extend the New START agreement that would retain limits on Russia's nuclear weapons, which is set to expire in 2021.

    Through its nuclear policy, the White House has created the conditions for an "expansive and unnecessary arms race that is reminiscent of the Cold War", Castro said.

    The United States announced in February that it would be suspending its obligations under the INF Treaty in six months if Russia refused to resume compliance with the accord's provisions. In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a retaliatory decree halting Russia's participation in the treaty.

    The INF Treaty required the two countries to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,417 miles).

    Russia has repeatedly denied allegations that it violated the INF Treaty as unsubstantiated and complained that US defene systems in Europe were equipped with launchers capable of firing cruise missiles at ranges prohibited under the agreement.

    Topic:
    Historic Russian-US Nuclear Accord Terminated (19)

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    National Security, INF, United States
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