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Local congressmen support Pres. Trump withdrawing from the nuclear treaty

Foreign military attaches and journalists attend a briefing by the Russian Defense Ministry as the 9M729 land-based cruise missile, right, in Kubinka outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. The Russian military on Wednesday rolled out its new missile and spelled out its specifications, seeking to dispel the U.S. claim that the weapon violates a key nuclear treaty. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

President Trump announced Friday that the United States will withdraw from a nuclear treaty. The Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty was signed by President Ronald Reagan 32 years ago. Three members of Congress from Utah are supporting Pres. Trump’s decision.

Utah 1st District Representative Rob Bishop says withdrawing from the nuclear treaty was really the only thing Trump could do, since the Russian government has been cheating for a long time.

“In the spring of last year, the Russians announced that they were building a new missile that was in violation of the treaty,” Rep. Bishop says.

Representative Chris Stewart of the Utah 2nd District is praising President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 32-year-old Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty.

He says Russia has been violating the treaty, and there might now be an opportunity bring other countries with similar weapons into a new agreement. Rep. Stewart says this action by Pres. Trump could lead to bringing other nuclear nations to the negotiating table, including North Korea, Iran, and China.

Rep. Stewart serves on the House Intelligence Committee, and he says there’s ample evidence Russia has been violating the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty for a long time.

“I think this decision was made at the right time. But more than that, it is the right decision,” Rep. Stewart says.

Senator Mitt Romney also says withdrawing from the INF treaty is the right policy.

In a statement, Pres. Trump said Russia has been violating the treaty, “with impunity, covertly developing and fielding a prohibited missile system that poses a direct threat to our allies and troops abroad.”

The Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed in 1987. The action brought a team of 30 inspectors to Utah from the Soviet Union to verify the end of Pershing missile production at Hercules Inc.