WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the United States’ intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty at the NATO Ministerial Meeting.
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement today in Brussels that the United States will suspend operations of the INF Treaty in sixty days underscores the Administration’s continued lack of a clear strategy to counter Russia. While I remain deeply concerned with Russia’s violation of the Treaty, today’s pronouncement is a geostrategic gift to Russia. It takes the focus away from Russia’s malign behavior and replaces it with a narrative that the U.S. is willing to abandon treaties without strategic alternatives. This decision will only serve to exacerbate tense relations with our NATO allies, which will see the administration decision as another step on the road to an unconstrained nuclear arms race with Russia. ”
“This announcement also comes without any meaningful consultation with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which has jurisdiction on this issue, or with the full Senate, which shares responsibility for treaties with the Executive Branch under the Constitution, or the broader Congress on questions of arms control in a world without INF. By acting without our allies and without the support of Congress, the Administration has once again made America less safe.”