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US officially ditches nuclear missile pact with Russia

The U.S. on Aug. 2 officially pulled out of a nuclear missile pact with Russia, saying Moscow violated the accord.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Russia is "solely responsible for the treaty's demise" after failing to destroy a noncompliant missile system despite U.S. demands. Russia has denied that it violated the accord.

The U.S. notified Russia in February of its intent to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement.

Signed in 1987, the treaty requires the destruction of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 kilometers and 5,500 kilometers.

"The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia," Pompeo said, adding that Russia's noncompliance "jeopardizes U.S. supreme interests as Russia's development and fielding of a treaty-violating missile system represents a direct threat to the United States and our allies and partners." The withdrawal takes effect immediately.

Last month, President Vladimir Putin signed a law suspending Russia's participation in the treaty, according to a July 3 Bloomberg News report.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump opened the door for a new nuclear deal involving Russia and China.

"If we could get a pact where they reduce and we reduce nuclear, that would be a good thing for the world. I do believe that will happen," Trump was quoted as saying by Reuters Aug. 2.