WASHINGTON—The federal Liberal government is blaming Russia for U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a landmark Cold War-era treaty on nuclear weapons.
Trump is accusing the Russian government of violating the 30-year-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty “with impunity” by covertly developing and testing a prohibited missile system that threatens U.S. allies and soldiers abroad.
Adam Austen, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, says Canada is disappointed that Russia’s actions have led to the U.S. decision.
He says Canada strongly supports the international effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, but that such efforts are only effective if everyone plays by the rules.
The Canadian position echoes that of NATO, which is also putting the blame for the collapse of the treaty squarely on Russia’s shoulders.
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. will suspend its treaty obligations on Saturday and begin the process of withdrawing fully from the treaty over the next six months.
“Canada strongly supports global non-proliferation and disarmament efforts, which are essential to keeping the world safe. However, arms control only works if everyone follows their obligations,” Austen said in a statement.
“Russia has failed to comply with this important treaty, and Canada is disappointed that Russia’s actions have led to today’s announcement. Russia must come into compliance with this treaty immediately.”