Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty:
“President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the INF treaty risks a nuclear arms race that we’ll rue for generations to come. It’s a shortsighted, counterproductive decision and a giant step away from the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons.
“Since the Cold War, the INF treaty has played a key role in maintaining peace and stability in Europe. The treaty resulted in the elimination of an entire class of dangerous weapons, resulting in the destruction of more than 2,500 missiles. The treaty made the world safer. Abandoning it now jeopardizes the national security of the United States and our allies.
“Withdrawing from the treaty allows President Putin to blame the United States for the treaty’s termination, giving him a free pass to continue deploying these nuclear weapons along Europe’s borders and further divide the United States from our NATO allies.
“There’s no question that Russia is violating the treaty and that we need to address those violations. But we should do so by taking coordinated diplomatic action with our NATO allies and deploying additional non-nuclear forces to Europe to offset any perceived advantage Russia believes it has achieved. By withdrawing, the United States is saying in essence that Russia is free to deploy these weapons.
“We should continue bilateral consultations that only recently started and take up Russia’s offer for direct inspections of their offending weapons. Doing so would show our allies that the INF treaty remains a cornerstone of our collective security and help maintain a unified front to counter Russia’s increasingly hostile actions in the region.