December 14, 2001 WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Thursday the United States has notified Russia that it intends to pull out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, starting a six-month timetable for withdrawal and opening the way for the creation of an anti-missile defense system.
"Today I am giving formal notice to Russia that the United States of America is withdrawing from this almost 30-year-old treaty," Bush said in the White House Rose Garden. "I have concluded the ABM treaty hinders our government's ability to develop ways to protect our people from future terrorist or rogue state missile attacks."
The announcement came after months of talks in which U.S. officials hoped to persuade Russia to set the treaty aside and negotiate a new strategic agreement. But a breakthrough did not materialize, and Bush decided to go ahead with a unilateral withdrawal.