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
“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.
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.