US President Donald Trump has confirmed Washington’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty with Russia, a centerpiece of nuclear arms control since the Cold War. He also said that NATO allies fully support his decision.
“Tomorrow, the United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which will be completed in six months,” Trump said in a written statement.
He accused Russia of non-compliance, and said the US would return to the agreement only if Moscow destroys what Washington considers to be “violating missiles, launchers, and associated equipment.”
NATO released a separate statement citing the alleged “risks to Euro-Atlantic security posed by Russia’s covert testing, production, and fielding of 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile systems.”
The current White House administration says that Moscow’s 9М729 rocket violates the terms of the agreement, signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan as a key step to ending the Cold War. The treaty bans land-launched nuclear and conventional missiles with a range between 500km and 5,500km.
There has been widespread speculation that, regardless of compliance issues, the Pentagon feels hamstrung by the terms of the treaty, which does not bind countries whose military capability has risen in the past three decades, particularly China.
Experts argue that the treaty interferes with American policies as well as throws obstacles in the path of its military industrial complex, Ivan Konovalov, director of the Center for Strategic Environment think tank previously told RT. “The US does not want Russia and China to turn into the new centers of power as it threatens Washington’s global hegemony, which is already crumbling.”
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