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U.S. officially withdraws from Cold War missile treaty with Russia

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shaking hands at the G20 Summit in Japan
Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The U.S. officially pulled out of the Cold War-era Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement with Russia on Friday, saying "Russia is solely responsible for the treaty's demise."

Why it matters: Some are worried the failure of the treaty could lead to a renewed arms race between the two countries. Both the Obama and Trump administrations have accused Russia of repeatedly violating the terms of the treaty, and neither country was able to ratchet down tensions during the six-month period after the U.S. announced its intention to withdraw.

  • The INF banned nuclear and conventional ground-launched missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers
  • Beyond allegations of Russian noncompliance, the U.S. viewed the treaty as unfair because other geopolitical rivals, like China, were not constrained by its limits.

What's next: The U.S. already has plans in place to start testing new a weapon in the coming weeks, reports Politico.

Go deeper: U.S. exit from INF Treaty frees Russia from key nuclear constraints