On Friday, the United States formally withdrew from 1987 nuclear pact with Russia after determining that Moscow was not respecting the treaty signed and it appeared no signs were showing they would change.
President Trump made it clear that the U.S. would terminate adherence to the 1987 arms control accord, a landmark nuclear missive pact between the two countries for over three decades. This treaty also is known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) banned both sides from stationing short and intermediate-range land-based missiles in Europe. Initially, the United States threatened it would pull out from the agreement if Russia did not adhere to the regulations and restrictions mentioned in the past six months prior to the withdrawal.
The United States threatened it would pull out from the agreement if Russia did not adhere to the regulations and restrictions mentioned in the past six months prior to the withdrawal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained in a statement that ”the United States will not remain a party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia.” He continued arguing that ”Russia’s noncompliance under the treaty jeopardizes U.S. supreme interests as Russia’s development and fielding of a treaty-violating missile system represents a direct threat to the United States and our allies and partners”.
In response, Russia denied the accusations and explained that the missile’s range was outside of the treaty, and in return attacked the United States on the basis that it invented a false reason to withdraw from a longstanding agreement between the two countries. For Russia, this was a pretext to leave the agreement in order to develop new missiles. Russia also rejected the request from the U.S. to destroy the new missile given the position adopted by the U.S.
The missile referred to is the Novator 9M729, also called SSC-8 as called by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It is important to remember that the INF treaty was negotiated between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and also ratified by the U.S. Senate. The purpose of this treaty was to eliminate the medium-range missile arsenals of the world’s two strongest and most powerful nuclear powers of the time. It was also to reduce and control the ability to launch a nuclear strike on such short notice.
Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, tensions have now started to increase between the two countries and are now at its worse since that previous period. Some experts argue that the decision to withdraw from the treaty could undermine and affect the other arms control agreements, much so like a snowball effect between two countries at it against each other. It could also speed up the system put in place at a global level to block and control the nuclear arms which ultimately would impact and destroy parts of the world.