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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Global Zero on US Ending INF Treaty: ‘Hard to Imagine a Worse Approach’

WASHINGTON -

According to news reports, recent talks to save the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between Russia and the United States have failed and the United States will stop complying with the treaty on February 2.

The move would free the United States and Russia to immediately begin developing treaty-prohibited weapons systems, raising the prospect that they could be deployed on the European continent and further escalate nuclear tensions. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to officially announce U.S. suspension and begin the 6-month process of withdrawal from the withdrawal from the treaty on February 2.

In response, Derek Johnson, executive director of Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, issued the following statement:

“If this administration doesn’t want Russia to build INF-banned weapons, it’s hard to imagine a worse approach than suspending the agreement. At best, the White House has let Russia off the hook and shifted blame for the diplomatic breakdown to the United States; at worst, they’re running headlong into an avoidable arms race that nobody wants or can afford.
 
“Negotiations should continue and any reasonable solution that eliminates Russia’s alleged violations should be acceptable. The alternative is untenable.
 
“Flipping over the negotiating table and storming out of the room may have worked in real estate, but when you’re dealing with nuclear treaties, the risk of misplaying your hand isn’t a failed business venture – it’s an arms race and possibly nuclear war. The administration’s decision does nothing to make America safer and does not bode well for the future of nuclear arms control.
 
“One round of failed talks is not enough: our diplomats need to get back in the room and exhaust every opportunity to resolve this dispute.”
In October, Global Zero’s Derek Johnson published a piece on CNN.com outlining the dangerous consequences of terminating the INF Treaty.

###

Global Zero is the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is led by more than 300 eminent world leaders and backed by a half a million citizens worldwide. For more information, please visitwww.globalzero.org.

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