WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after the Trump Administration announced its decision to suspend U.S. participation in the landmark Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty:

“President Trump has demonstrated a pattern of withdrawing from international commitments and letting Vladimir Putin off the hook.

“Withdrawing from the INF treaty with absolutely nothing in its place to contain the expansion of these destabilizing systems is a serious mistake and could spark a new arms race.  America is stronger when it works with others and builds alliances; presidents of both parties have demonstrated this, but sadly President Trump seems to be more interested in ending alliances than strengthening them.

“Russia should be held accountable for violating the treaty.  But instead of taking meaningful action, the Trump Administration seems content to release them from their obligations.

“The modernization of our nuclear arsenal has always been tied to arms control.  This was part of the New START bargain, but now we appear headed in the wrong direction.  The Trump Administration should extended the New START Treaty another five years past its expiration in 2021.  They do not require Congressional approval to do that and it is wholly in their means to do so.”