INF treaty dead at US initiative: Russia
After INF treaty’s demise, US seeks funds for missile tests
MOSCOW/ WASHINGTON: Moscow on Friday announced the formal end of a major Cold War-era nuclear arms deal, after Washington launched the process to pull out of the INF treaty this year. The treaty concluded in 1987 by then US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev limited the Cold War powers’ medium-range missiles, both conventional and nuclear.
On August 2, 2019, at the initiative of the US side, the treaty between the Soviet Union and the US on the elimination of their medium-range and shorter-range missiles… was terminated, Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov earlier called on the United States to implement a moratorium on deploying intermediate-range nuclear missiles, now that the deal is dead. We have suggested to the US and other NATO members to consider announcing a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-range missiles, Ryabkov told Russian state news agency.
This moratorium would be comparable to one already announced by Vladimir Putin, saying that if the United States does not deploy this equipment in certain regions, then Russia will also refrain from doing so, he added. Meanwhile, NATO blamed Russia for the demise of INF treaty and vowed to respond in a measured and responsible way to Moscow’s deployment of a cruise missile. Russia bears sole responsibility for the demise of the Treaty, the transatlantic alliance said in a statement.
NATO will respond in a measured and responsible way to the significant risks posed by the Russian 9M729 missile to Allied security. Washington has long accused Moscow of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) deal, a charge Russia denies.
The United States will no longer be prohibited from having ground-launched intermediate-range missiles once it pulls out of an arms control treaty with Russia on Friday (Aug 2), but funds to test and develop the missiles may soon run out, officials say.
Washington said last year it would be withdrawing from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), accusing Russia of failing to comply with it. Moscow denies it has violated the treaty and says Washington is pulling out because it wants to pursue a new arms race.
Within the next few weeks, the United States is expected to test a ground-launched cruise missile. In November, the Pentagon will aim to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile. Both would be conventional weapons tests and not nuclear. US officials told media this week that once existing funding runs out, future research and testing would be at risk because of resistance from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.