Russia acts shocked that the US may withdraw from the INF. Secretly they are probably sniggering that the US is the only country seemingly restrained by a piece of paper.
Russia routinely violates the INF.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is a 1987 arms control agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Short and Medium range missiles development and deployment are banned by the Treaty, but Russia has deployed such missiles in Kaliningrad, enabling them to range much of Europe. All such weapons were supposed to be destroyed according to the INF Treaty signed by the Soviets and later signed by Russia.
Russia violated that agreement as early as 2008.
- Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress
The US officially accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty in 2014.
- Adherence To and Compliance With Arms Control, Nonproliferation, And Disarmament Agreements And Commitments
Russia seriously violated our trust in early 2018.
A good synopsis of the overall situation.
President Trump declared he wants the US to withdraw from the INF.
During a meeting with the US National Security Advisor, John R. Bolton, in a reference to the Great Seal of the United States, Putin made an attempt at a joke.
“I have a question: Has your eagle picked all the olives and only has arrows left?”
Bolton later said:
“The treaty was outmoded, being violated and being ignored by other countries. Under that view, exactly one country was constrained by the INF Treaty — the United States.”
RT immediately tweeted the phrase, mangling it in the effort.
AP correctly quoted Putin and gave a good synopsis.
Critics of the action charge that withdrawing makes no sense when we can just ask Russia to withdraw the illegal weapons from Kaliningrad.
I can see it now. “Illegal weapons in Kaliningrad? Prove it.” Even if Russia agrees, they would take 15 years to comply.
If you believe Russia would comply, I have some waterfront property to sell you in Florida.