The United States plans to test a new missile in coming weeks that would have been prohibited under a landmark, 32-year-old arms control treaty that the U.S. and Russia ripped up on Friday. Washington and Moscow walked out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty that President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed in 1987, raising fears of a new arms race. The U.S. blamed Moscow for the death of the treaty. It said that for years Moscow has been developing and fielding weapons that violate the treaty and threaten the United States and its allies, particularly in Europe. “There still were some hopes pinned on our partners, that, unfortunately, did not materialize. I think, now we all can see that a blow has been dealt to strategic security. This US move will cause uncertainty and chaotic development of international politics.” Mikhail Gorbachev said. Gorbachev has firsthand knowledge of the particulars of the treaty, having signed it in 1987 together with then-US-president Ronald Reagan. The agreement banned the development, production, or deployment of land-based and cruise missiles with ranges between 500km and 5,500km. “Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement released on Friday. But the U.S. also sees an upside to exiting the treaty. Washington has complained for years that the arms control playing field was unfair. U.S. officials argued that not only was Russia violating the treaty and developing prohibited weapons, but that China also was making similar
NATO urged Russia on Tuesday to destroy a new missile before an August deadline and save a treaty that keeps land-based nuclear warheads out of Europe or face a more determined alliance response in the region. NATO defence ministers will discuss on Wednesday their next steps if Moscow keeps the missile system that the United States says would allow short-notice nuclear attacks on Europe and break the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). “We call on Russia to take the responsible path, but we have seen no indication that Russia intends to do so,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference. “We will need to respond,” Stoltenberg said. He declined to go into more details. But diplomats said defence ministers will consider more flights over Europe by U.S. warplanes capable of carrying nuclear warheads, more military training and the repositioning U.S. sea-based missiles. The United States and its NATO allies want Russia to destroy its 9M729/SSC-8 nuclear-capable cruise missile system, which Moscow has so far refused to do. It denies any violations of the INF treaty, accusing Washington of seeking an arms race. Without a deal, the United States has said it will withdraw from the INF treaty on Aug. 2, removing constraints on its own ability to develop nuclear-capable, medium-range missiles. The dispute has deepened a fissure in East-West ties that severely deteriorated after Russia’s seizure of Crimea and its involvement in Syria. “ALL OPTIONS ON TABLE” Russia warned on Monday of a stand-off comparable to the 1962 Cuban
Colonel General Bondarev called for old Russian bases in Vietnam to be re-opened. He said: “I believe under the condition of increased tension in the world and frank intervention in the internal affairs of other countries, Russia’s historical partners, our return to Latin America is not ruled out. Of course, this should be coordinated with the Cubans. We should also think about our Navy’s return to Vietnam with the permission of the government.”
“Just a week ago, a couple of days ahead of the announcement of the (U.S.) aim to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, Americans via their embassy in Moscow sent the Russian foreign ministry an extensive list of questions which are a concern to them,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Norman Mattis: “We are in close collaboration with our European allies… and we will continue to collaborate very closely with the treaty and its implications for European security. Eventually we have to look reality in the eye, that is not to mean that we are walking away from arms control. But arms control must be more than words on a paper, it must be actions.”
If “areas with critically dangerous geophysical conditions in the US (like the Yellowstone Supervolcano or the San Andreas Fault)” are targeted by those warheads, “such an attack guarantees the destruction of the US as a state and the entire transnational elite,” military expert Konstantin Sivkov said.
NATO allies are not likely to deploy more nuclear weapons in Europe in response to what the West says is a Russian breach of a nuclear arms control treaty that Washington is pulling out of, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.
“I don’t foresee that European allies will deploy more nuclear weapons as a response,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference in his first public comments on the issue since U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the treaty.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, negotiated by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, required elimination of short-range and intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles by both countries.
“Russia has not, unfortunately, honoured the agreement so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out,” Trump said.