Pompeo said Russia's violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty undermine American national security and as such, the U.S. should not be "constrained" by a treaty that hampers its ability to respond.
Pompeo said that despite Moscow's INF violations, "the United States has remained in scrupulous compliance with the treaty". "But we also have to prepare for a world without the treaty".
USA allies lobbied Pompeo to provide the 60-day window, hoping that a diplomatic solution can be secured during that time.
"Russia's reply has been consistent: deny any wrongdoing, demand more information, and issue baseless counter-accusations", Pompeo said.
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday dismissed U.S. claims Russian Federation is violating a major Cold War treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms, as a senior general lashed out at Washington's attempts to "contain" Moscow. Under the terms of the treaty, neither nation could own any "ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, their launchers and associated support structures and support equipment".
He cited Russia's recent clash with Ukraine, saying the U.S. hoped the Russians would return captured Ukrainian soldiers "immediately".
The NATO ministers called on Russian Federation to "return urgently to full and verifiable compliance", saying it is now "up to Russian Federation to preserve the INF treaty".
Several experts previously said that the deployment of such missiles in Latin American countries is possible if the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) is not preserved.
Very simple: "We will also do this", he said, indicating that Russian Federation will no longer abide by the treaty if the United States withdraws.
Pompeo announced the decision after NATO allies meeting in Brussels supported Washington's contention that Russian Federation violated the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
"Russia strictly abides by the provisions of the INF Treaty, and the American side knows this", the ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday, commenting on the statements by officials of the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the matter, Xinhua reported.
"During this 60 days, we will still not test or produce or deploy any systems, and we'll see what happens during this 60-day period", Pompeo told journalists in Brussels. The treaty is set to expire in 2021, but Russian Federation has expressed an interest in having it renewed.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations, individually and through the European Union, have also imposed economic and other sanctions on Russian Federation since it annexed Crimea, but there is little appetite among the allies to broaden those measures.
"No evidence to support this American position has ever been presented to us".
He also suggested a possible ban on Russian ships entering other countries' ports if Moscow continues to block the Sea of Azov, and said that he would raise this with his European Union counterparts next week. Moscow has consistently said it is in compliance with the agreement.
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