Putin signs bill withdrawing from nuclear arms treaty with the United States

Fox News – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill Wednesday formalizing Russia’s withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with the United States.

The move follows Washington’s departure from the decades-old agreement that President Trump said Russia had been “violating for many years.” The U.S. gave notice of its intention to withdraw from the pact in February, setting the stage for the treaty to terminate in six months unless Moscow returned to compliance. Moscow responded by suspending its own obligations under the treaty.

The treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev banned both the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying any ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles.

The Trump administration has said Russia broke the deal by deploying Novator 9M729 land-based cruise missiles, whose range falls within the distance prohibited by the treaty. The U.S. reportedly discovered in 2012 that Russia was violating the treaty and informed some European allies, though not the entire NATO membership. Russian officials have repeatedly denied any breaches and have suggested the U.S. hasn’t complied with the treaty by placing missiles in European bases.