United States gives Russian Federation 60 days to comply with nuclear treaty

Frederick Owens
December 5, 2018

It is alleged that Moscow has violated the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty - a historic pact that kept such deadly missiles out of Europe.

The US has said it will withdraw from a landmark nuclear missile treaty in 60 days if Russian Federation does not address its alleged violations of the pact.

"I hope my Democratic colleagues who have claimed the Trump Administration is not working with NATO to address Russia's violation of the INF Treaty will now begin to work constructively with theAdministration to secure our nation against the threats posed by Russian Federation", she said.

The INF was a bilateral treaty between the U.S. and the then Soviet Union, so it puts no restrictions on other major military actors like China.

"In light of these facts, the United States today declares it has found Russian Federation in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations as a remedy effective in 60 days unless Russian Federation returns to full and verifiable compliance", the secretary of state said.

The nuclear-capable Russian cruise missiles are mobile and hard to detect and can hit cities in Europe with little or no warning, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, dramatically changing the security calculus on the continent.

The US has given Russian Federation 60 days to comply with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty or it will no longer abide by the agreement and could produce, test and deploy new missiles, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has warned.

If Russia does not comply within the 60-day deadline, the United States will begin the six-month process of formally withdrawing from the INF treaty.

U.S. signals it will suspend nuclear treaty with Russia after NATO finding

The former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and former USA secretary state, George Shultz, who helped negotiate the terms of the INF treaty at the 1986 Reykjavik summit between Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, warned of the dire consequences of ditching the treaty.

US President Donald Trump has previously threatened to pull out of the bilateral pact.

The INF was a bilateral treaty between the USA and the then Soviet Union, so it puts no restrictions on other major military actors like China.

Until then, Pompeo said, the USA would not "test or produce or deploy any systems" that would breach the treaty.

China, North Korea, and Iran are not obligated by the treaty's limitations, and, "This leaves them free to build all the intermediate range missiles they would like", he said.

The prospect of U.S. missiles on European soil is a concern for states including Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, whose representatives have urged Mr Pompeo to continue with diplomacy in fear of a European arms race.

"Russia's violation of the INF Treaty erodes the foundations of effective arms control and undermines Allied security".

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