The President of America, Donald Trump announced this Saturday that the US will be pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.
Trump has stated that Russia has violated the agreement and have been violating it for many years. He added by pointing out the question why President Obama didn’t negotiate over the treaty. The U.S is not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons. He said that the U.S have always stayed in the agreement and honored it. Trump said that they’re going to terminate the agreement signed by former President Ronald Reagan and former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev.
Under the treaty, both countries were required to eliminate ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between approximately 300 to 3,400 miles. It also offered a blanket of protection to the United States’ European allies and marked a significant agreement between the U.S and Russia at the center of the arms race during the Cold War.
The Trump Administration has said many times before that Russia has violated the treaty and has pointed out that their predecessors in the Obama administration had accused Russia of violating the terms of the agreement.
Back in 2014, it was reported that the US had accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty, conducting cruise missile tests in 2008. The United States at the time had informed its NATO allies of Russia’s suspected breach.
However, only recently had NATO officially confirmed Russia’s activity constituted of a likely violation.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, said earlier this month that the military alliance remains concerned about Russia’s lack of respect for its international commitments.
Stoltenberg said that the treaty abolishes a whole category of weapons and is important to our security. He also stated that the treaty is in danger due to Russia’s actions. After years of denials, Russia recently acknowledged the existence of a new missile system, called 9M729, said, Stoltenberg. Russia has not provided any trustworthy answers on this new missile. All allies agree that the most plausible explanation would be that Russia is in violation of the treaty. Hence, it becomes urgent that Russia address these concerns in a substantial and transparent manner.