WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement.
“I have no doubt that Russia is in violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, an important agreement negotiated by former President Ronald Reagan that eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons that threatened Europe during the Cold War. I am concerned, though, that the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the treaty without a clear plan for bringing Russia back into compliance will lead to a new arms race and endanger the people of the United States and Europe.
“The U.S. withdrawal from the INF treaty continues the Trump administration’s alarming pattern of walking away from bilateral and multilateral international agreements with no plans for how to negotiate new or improved deals to advance our interests. I also worry that this action will only make it more difficult to extend the New START treaty with Russia, another important arms control agreement that helps keep Americans safe from the threat of nuclear war and is due to expire in 2021. The Trump administration’s lack of a clear arms control agenda also further divides us from our European allies, and I look forward to questioning the administration about this decision. Leaders in the administration and Congress must begin to work immediately to develop a comprehensive negotiating strategy to bring Russia back into compliance while pursuing a broader strategic international vision for arms control.”