The United States withdraws from the nuclear treaty with Russia

The United States withdraws from the nuclear treaty with Russia. The United States will formally withdraw from a nuclear treaty with Russia, which reinforces the fear of a new arms race.

The Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was signed by US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

Prohibited missiles with a range of 500 to 500 km.

But at the beginning of the year, the United States and NATO accused Russia of violating the pact by deploying a new type of cruise missile, which Moscow denied.

United States withdraws from the nuclear treaty with Russia and

The Americans said they had evidence that Russia had deployed several 9M729 missiles known to NATO as SSC-8. This charge was then presented to NATO allies in Washington, who supported the US claim.

President Donald Trump announced in February that the United States would withdraw from the pact if Russia did not comply and set a deadline of August 2.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended his country’s treaty obligations soon after.

What are the risks?

“A precious brake on the nuclear war was being lost,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“This will probably increase, not reduce, the threat posed by ballistic missiles,” he added, calling on all parties to “seek agreement on a new common path for international arms control”.

Analysts fear that the collapse of the historic deal will lead to a new arms race between the United States, Russia and China.

NATO chief calls on Russia to rescue INF Treaty on nuclear missiles
Last month, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the BBC that Russian missiles, which “in his view were a flagrant violation of the treaty,” had nuclear capability, were mobile, very difficult to detect, and could reach European cities in minutes.

“It’s serious.” “The INF Treaty has been the cornerstone of gun control for decades and we are now witnessing the disappearance of this treaty.”

He added that “there is no sign” that Russia will comply with the agreement and that “we must be ready for a world without INF and with more Russian missiles”.

Stoltenberg also said that any NATO decision on exactly how to react would come after the deadline.

NATO does not intend to deploy its own ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe, he added, but a conventional anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence, new exercises and force preparation, as well as new arms control initiatives,  could be part of the response.

What is the Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF)?

  • Signed by the USA UU. And the USSR, in 1987, the arms control agreement banned all short and medium-range nuclear and non-nuclear missiles, with the exception of weapons launched by sea.
  • The United States was concerned about the Soviet deployment of the SS-20 missile system in 1979 and reacted by placing Pershing and cruise missiles in Europe, which triggered many protests.
  • In 1991, nearly 2,700 missiles had been destroyed.
  • Both countries were allowed to inspect their facilities.

The disappearance of the INF Treaty, the only disarmament agreement to eliminate a whole category of nuclear weapons, represents a major setback for the defenders of arms control.

This comes at a time when the United States is increasingly worried about the threat of what they see as a resurgence of Russia, which is even more worrying.

Neither Moscow nor Washington seem to value such treaties.

The most important agreement of the Cold War years, the new START treaty, which limits long-range nuclear weapons, will expire on February 2021. Its survival is far from assured.

The paradox is that arms control did not seem important after the collapse of the Soviet Union when tensions were low.

Now that they are being assembled, disarmament agreements could play an important role in maintaining stability.

Instead, gun control is in crisis just as new technologies for dangerous weapons are being developed (including artificial intelligence and high-speed “hypersonic” missiles).

Where things went wrong?
In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the treaty no longer served the interests of Russia.

That’s what happened after United States President George W. Bush withdrew the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, which banned weapons designed to counteract ballistic nuclear missiles.

In 2014, Barack Obama, then US President, accused Russia of violating the INF treaty after allegedly testing a cruise missile launched from the ground.

 

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