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Russia, US Blame Each other for Ending Nuclear Treaty, Our Fact Checks

U.S. -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty at the State Department in Washington, February 1, 2019

The United States and Russia announced on August 2 their withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The Cold War-era agreement was designed to eliminate both conventional and ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,000 kilometers.

Each country is blaming the other for the failure of the treaty and each has accused the other of violating the treaty.

“Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise,” U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a statement. “Dating back to at least the mid-2000s, Russia developed, produced, flight tested, and has now fielded multiple battalions of its noncompliant missile.”

“Washington has committed a grave mistake,” said a Russian Foreign Ministry statement, adding “…the United States intentionally plunged the Treaty into a crisis that was almost impossible to overcome.”

In its statement, Russia also accused the U.S. of not “reviewing mutual concerns” and “issuing ultimatums against Russia that were unacceptable by definition.” has fact checked this issue a number of times, including several in the past seven months. Below are links to three of the recent fact checks, with short summaries here. The articles include deeply contextual information on the claims of each side. Click on the headlines to go to the fact checks:

Russia Demonstrates Missile Claiming No Violation of INF – Only to Prove Opposite

By Fatima Tlis

In this January 25 fact check, found the be “false,” Russia’s claim its recently deployed intermediate range nuclear missile was not in compliance. We found: Russia’s 9M729 missile system has a range capability “well over” the range allowed by the INF Treaty. Russia has confirmed multiple launches of 9M729 missiles from fixed locations, including the Kapustin Yar missile range, as well as from the sea and mobile bases.

Putin Makes Suspect Claim on Missile Deployment

By William Echols

In this fact check on February 8, 2019 fact check: concluded Despite the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed Russia won’t deploy such weapons “in Europe” if the U.S. does the same. There is evidence Russia already has done so. We found President Putin’s claim in this fact check to be “partially false.”

Putin Threatens Washington with Retaliation

By Margarita Assenova

Our finding in this February 22, 2019 fact check: In his speech to the Duma, President Vladimir Putin virtually admitted Russia has deployed intermediate-range missiles that the U.S. and NATO say violate the INF treaty. His threat against Washington is not new. Putin said early in 2018 Russia had developed missiles to strike the U.S.