02.01.19

Chairman Schiff Statement on Trump Administration Withdrawal from INF Treaty

Los Angeles, CA – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, released a statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement that the United States with withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty:

“For many years, the Russian Federation has violated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, an historic pact concluded by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan. These violations were knowing and deliberate, and call for a concerted international effort to compel Russian compliance.

“However, the Administration’s announcement that the United States will suspend our adherence to the INF risks precisely the sort of nuclear arms buildup that the treaty was designed to guard against, with the potential to destabilize the strategic balance in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.

“The repudiation of the INF also follows a string of actions by this Administration that make clear its hostility to international agreements that have long helped preserve international stability and benefited the United States. While the INF Treaty has helped protect and keep the peace in Europe, and avoided an arms race between the world’s two pre-eminent nuclear powers, defense hawks in Russia and America have bridled under the treaty’s restrictions. Unilateral American withdrawal from the treaty allows Putin to expand without constraints development of a class of weapons he has coveted, and furthers a goal that National Security Advisor Bolton has advocated well before Russian violations of the treaty.

“I urge the Administration to remain in compliance with the treaty and engage in intensive diplomacy with our European allies during the six-month period of suspension to press Russia to come into compliance with the treaty, and for the U.S. and Russia to recommit to preventing a new nuclear arms race.”