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Russia also to withdraw from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, weakening weapons control

Nuclear arms control is increasingly strained as Russia steps back from treaty, Quartz, By John Detrixhe, February 3, 2019 The nuclear arms controls that have been in place since the end of the Cold War appear increasingly strained. The US said yesterday (Feb. 1) that it will withdraw from a landmark treaty for such weapons that it signed with the Soviet Union in 1987. Russia responded today by saying it will also suspend its obligations under the agreement.

The US is pulling back from the treaty with the backing of its NATO allies because officials say Russia has built a cache of missiles and refuses to destroy them. Vladimir Putin, who claims his county is in compliance, has likewise complained that the Americans are potentially in breach of the agreement, which banned the use of short- and medium-range missiles by both countries. The Russian president said his country will begin developing new missiles.

“Our American partners announced that they are suspending their participation in the treaty, and we are suspending it too,” Putin said, according to the BBC.

The breakdown follows several years of failed negotiations. Carl Bildt, co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said on Twitter that the end of the treaty would allow Russia to deploy cruise missiles from ground launchers that would quickly threaten Europe. He says both sides should commit to not deploying new weapons, then address Russia’s controversial 9M729 missile systems “in detail.”……..

Under the terms of the treaty, it will take six months for the agreement to dissolve. The US has given Russia six months to return to compliance with the treaty, and all parties should make the most of that window to find a resolution….

February 4, 2019 - Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war

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