In other words, signing a treaty indicates a nation's general willingness to the concept of the treaty but, until it is ratified or acceded to, it is not binding to a signing party/nation. Signing a treaty does, however, signal to the world that a nation agrees with the intent of the treaty and is willing to work towards ratification/accession.
Now, let's look at some recent comments from United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels regarding Russia's alleged violations of the INF Treaty:
"Finally, and I want to be clear about this, America is upholding the rule of law. When we set forth our commitments, we agree to be bound by them. We expect the same of our treaty counterparts everywhere, and we will hold them accountable when their words prove untrustworthy. If we do not, we’ll get cheated by other nations, expose Americans to greater risk, and squander our credibility."
Let's examine the veracity of Mr. Pompeo's claims regarding Washington's trustworthiness when it comes to the signing and ratification of international treaties.