WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after media reports that National Security Adviser John Bolton has confirmed to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Trump Administration intends to terminate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:
“Terminating the treaty is an unforced error that plays into Russian hands and fragments NATO unity.
“Putin has long wanted to end this treaty, but didn’t want to be the one to walk away. It is troubling that President Trump is doing it for him.
“It would be better to build international pressure to hold Russia accountable for violating the treaty and force it back into serious negotiations than to have the U.S. pull out now.
“In addition, terminating the INF Treaty will complicate - if not undermine - discussions to extend the New START Treaty with Russia. The New START Treaty sets overall totals for strategic nuclear weapons on both sides and will expire in 2021, but can be extended for five years.
“Trump’s impulsive and glib proposed termination of the INF Treaty and failure to date to begin discussion of extending the New START Treaty could begin the unwinding of international arms control that has provided decades of stability regarding nuclear weapons.”