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  1. The U.S is suspending its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty effective February 2 and will withdraw from the treaty in six months.
  2. The treaty, signed during the Cold War in 1987, bans ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 km-5,500 km. It was key to ending the arms race between the (then) two superpowers and helped protect the U.S.’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks.
  3. The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification.
  4. As a result of the INF Treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union destroyed a total of 2,692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles by the treaty’s implementation deadline of June 1, 1991.
  5. The U.S. will formally give Russia and the other treaty parties a formal notice that it is withdrawing under Article XV of the Treaty. Article XV mandates a six-month notice period before withdrawal.
  6. However, the US left open the possibility that the treaty could be rescued in the six-month withdrawal period. “If Russia does not return to full and verifiable compliance with the treaty within this six-month period by verifiably destroying its INF-violating missiles, missile launchers and associated equipment, the treaty will terminate”.