US to Suspend INF Treaty Obligations

On February 1, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty, effective February 2, and will leave the Treaty completely six months following if Russia does not return to “full and verifiable compliance” within that period. “Russia has jeopardized the United States’ security interests, and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it,” Secretary Pompeo said in his announcement. In December 2018, the United States gave Russia 60 days to return to INF compliance before submitting a formal notice of withdrawal.

Western officials indicated in January that the deployment of Russia’s non-INF compliant SSC-8 (Novator 9M729) ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) now totals four battalions and nearly 100 of these missiles. The U.S. reports that the SSC-8 has a maximum range of 2,500 km, but Russia denies this, arguing the missile is in compliance with the INF Treaty.