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Donald Trump confirms US withdrawal from INF nuclear treaty

 Guardian, Julian Borger, World affairs editor, Sat 2 Feb 2019 
Announcement gives Russia 180 days to destroy violating missiles and launchers to avoid new arms race Donald Trump has confirmed that the US is leaving the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, saying “we will move forward with developing our own military response options” to Russia’s suspect missile.In a written statement, Trump said that the US would be suspending its compliance with the 1987 treaty on Saturday, and would serve formal notice that it would withdraw altogether in six months.

He left the door open to the treaty being salvaged in that 180-day window, but only if Russia destroys all of its violating missiles, launchers and associated equipment. Since 2013, the US has alleged that Russia has developed a new ground-launched cruise missile which violated the INF prohibition of missiles with ranges between 500km and 5,500km.

Russia for several years denied the missile existed but has more recently acknowledged its existence, saying its range does not violate INF limits.

“This is in reality, under international law, Russia’s final chance,” a senior administration official said. “If there is to be an arms race, it is Russia that has undermined the global security architecture.”

In his statement, Trump warned that unless Russia destroyed its missile by August: “We will move forward with developing our own military response options and will work with Nato and our other allies and partners to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct.”

Washington’s European allies have been anxious that the death of the INF treaty would lead to a return to the tense days of the 1980s, and an arms race involving short- and medium-range missiles on European soil………

, neither the Trump nor Pompeo gave any indication whether the administration would agree to extend the 2010 New Start treaty, the last remaining arms control agreement constraining the arsenals of the two major nuclear weapons powers.

Both the US and Russia have abided by the New Start limit of 1,550 deployed, strategic nuclear warheads, but the treaty expires in 2021, leaving little time to negotiate a five-year extension.

Alexandra Bell, a former state department arms control official and senior policy director at the Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said: “New Start is working, it’s good for American national security and this administration is putting global security at risk by foot-dragging on extension.”

February 2, 2019 - Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war

1 Comment »

  1. And on the other side of the hegelian dialectic, I mean america and russia are so fond of proxy wars and seem to often be involved in the same wars, this surprising information.

    Nuclear arms control is increasingly strained as Russia steps back from treaty:

    Comment by Frank Labuschagne | February 2, 2019 | Reply

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