U.S.-Russia’s 1987 Missile Treaty Ends Due to Russia’s Non-Compliance; NATO Agrees with U.S. that Russia ‘Bears Sole Responsibility for the Treaty Collapse’

  • After the U.S. officially pulled out of a long-standing treaty with Russia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said there will be a “measured and responsible” response to avoid a new arms race.
  • The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty was signed in 1987 under then-President Ronald Reagan and “banned ground-launched medium-range missiles with a range of 310 to 3,400 miles.”
  • Washington withdrew from the treaty after Russia “refused to destroy its new intermediate-range SSC-8 cruise missile that Washington said violated the INF.” Russia denies it violated the treaty.
  • Both Stoltenberg and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blame Russia for the treaty’s collapse.
  • Pompeo issued a statement on Friday saying “Russia was solely responsible for the treaty’s demise.” He added that the U.S. had diligently worked to compromise with Russia, but it refused to cooperate.
  • Pompeo said: “Dating back to at least the mid-2000s, Russia developed, produced, flight tested, and has now fielded multiple battalions of its noncompliant missile. The United States first raised its concerns with Russia in 2013. Russia subsequently and systematically rebuffed six years of U.S. efforts seeking Russia’s return to compliance.”
  • Pompeo also tweeted: “On Feb 2nd, 2019 the U.S. gave Russia six months to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Russia refused, so the treaty ends today. The U.S. will not remain party to a treaty when others violate it. Russia bears sole responsibility.”
  • NATO also said that Russia “bears sole responsibility for the treaty collapse” and would respond to minimize the risks posed by Russia’s missile system.
  • Back in February, President Trump threatened to withdraw from the treaty if Russia didn’t get rid of its SSC-8 and also warned the U.S. would “move forward with developing our own military response options.”
  • Russia’s missile system is seen as a threat to its regional neighbors, as well as the U.S. and its allies.

Reference Links

  • BBC: INF nuclear treaty: Nato ‘to avoid arms race’ after US-Russia pact ends READ
  • The Guardian: Nato and Russia trade barbs after collapse of nuclear arms treaty READ
  • CNBC: US ends Reagan-era nuclear missile pact with RussiaREAD
  • McClatchy DC Bureau: NATO planning response after US-Russia arms control treaty dies READ

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