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Gorbachev, experts baffled by U.S. withdrawal from nuclear weapons deal

  Euro News, By Alexander Smith with NBC News World News•   22/10/2018

A piece of reckless brinkmanship that could spark an arms race between NATO and Russia in Europe, or a hardball negotiating strategy that might push Moscow into keeping its longstanding promises on nuclear weapons?President Donald Trump was widely criticized this weekend when he announced his intention to scrap a landmark nuclear weapons agreement signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The deal was designed to keep ground-based nuclear missiles out of Europe.Trump said that Russia has for years been violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF.He’s not the first president to make this allegation. President Barack Obama said much the same.Many experts agree that Moscow continues to break the rules and flout the pact, but despite that some say ripping up the agreement is a bad idea.

These skeptics range from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to Gorbachev himself, with the Nobel laureate telling Russia’s Interfax news agency Sunday that Trump’s decision was “very strange” and not the work of “a great mind.”The White House’s decision to pull out, so this argument goes, will only allow Moscow to continue its current actions without having to maintain the pretense of compliance. Meanwhile, Russia, which also accuses the U.S. of violating the agreement, can point the finger at the U.S. as the one responsible for the INF’s failure.The 1987 agreement bans ground-based nuclear and conventional missiles that can strike between 300 miles to 3,400 miles.”One concern is that in the medium-term there may be the temptation to return intermediate-range missiles, potentially including nuclear weapons, to Europe,” said Karl Dewey, an analyst at Jane’s by IHS Markit, an open-source defense intelligence provider based in London……..

October 23, 2018 - Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, USA

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