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SFRC Chairman Risch and SASC Chairman Inhofe Statement on End of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement ahead of the end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, expected tomorrow:

“Tomorrow, as a result of Russia’s deliberate violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and its refusal to return to full and verifiable compliance, the treaty is set to end.

“The United States worked hard to prevent this outcome. For nearly six years, the United States pursued dialogue with Russia in the hopes it might return to compliance. It did so under both Democratic and Republican administrations. And it did so in concert with our allies. But as has often been the case under Vladimir Putin, Russia responded with denials, obfuscation and false counter-accusations. President Trump made the right decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty.

“The United States and our NATO allies are unified in the conviction that Russia bears sole responsibility for the end of the INF Treaty. Going forward, political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic must engage with their citizens to preserve that unity amid Russia’s ongoing attempts to rewrite the history of the treaty’s demise through propaganda and disinformation.  

“The United States and our NATO allies are also resolved to take the necessary steps to ensure the credibility and effectiveness of NATO’s deterrence and defense posture in a post-INF environment. As we approach the NATO Summit in London in December, we encourage the Administration to work with our NATO allies to focus on cooperative efforts to develop and field capabilities to defend against cruise missiles, such as those fielded by the Russian military in violation of the treaty.

“Finally, while tomorrow marks the end of one treaty, it does not mark the end of arms control or nonproliferation efforts. The United States will continue to uphold current treaty commitments and remain open to supporting new frameworks that enhance international security.”