Published: Mon, August 05, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

USA pulls out from INF treaty over Russian 'violation'

USA pulls out from INF treaty over Russian 'violation'

The United States on Friday officially withdraw from the intermediate nuclear forces treaty, which was signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev to end a Cold War arms race on the continent.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov accused the US of trying to once again best its top military rival by outspending it on weapons with Friday's collapse of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

In this fact check on February 8, 2019 fact check: concluded Despite the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed Russia won't deploy such weapons "in Europe" if the USA does the same.

The United States formally withdrew from a landmark nuclear missile pact with Russian Federation on Friday after determining that Moscow was in violation of the treaty, a claim the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.

Washington Free Beacon editor Matthew Continetti said Friday that when it comes to United States foreign policy relations with Russian Federation and China, "Nuclear politics is back".

A senior Trump administration official said at a briefing this week that the USA plans to flight-test a weapons system that would have violated the treaty.

The 29-country NATO transatlantic alliance has similarly rallied behind Washington, also blaming Russian Federation for the treaty's demise, and said it hoped to avoid a new arms race.

"The termination of the INF Treaty will provoke an arms race, while the desire to create new types of weapons will lead to destabilization of security in Europe in the first place", Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Alexey Chepa told RIA Novosti.

Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said: 'We have suggested to the USA and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members to consider announcing a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-range missiles'.

By denouncing the INF Treaty, the United States confirmed its commitment to abolishing all global instruments that do not suit it for one reason or another.

The plan to deploy new missiles in Asia is likely to anger China which is vying with Washington for influence in the region, but Esper said Beijing should not be surprised.

Now, the USA says Russian Federation did not stick with its aspect of the discount, and as an alternative constructed missiles banned below the settlement.

"We don't want a new arms race".

"The United States remains committed to effective arms control that advances USA, allied, and partner security; is verifiable and enforceable; and includes partners that comply responsibly with their obligations", Pompeo said Friday. Some experts believe the treaty's collapse could undermine other arms control agreements and speed an erosion of the global system created to block the spread of nuclear arms.

"It could emplace nuclear warheads on intermediate-range missiles, if it wanted to", says Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

The Geneva-based worldwide campaign to abolish nuclear weapons (ICAN), the organisation that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, said on Fridayexternal link that the "collapse of the INF Treaty is a significant loss that puts the world - and Europe in particular - at increased risk". He downplayed any reaction from China, saying that "80 percent plus of their inventory is intermediate range systems, so that shouldn't surprise them that we would want to have a like capability". The Cold War-era agreement was created to eliminate both conventional and ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,000 kilometers.

What was the INF Treaty?

Any deployment would be years away, they said.

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