Head of the Foreign Affairs State Duma Committee Alexey Pushkov tweeted that Russia may refuse to participate in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by the USA and the USSR at the end of the Cold War.
“Russia is not planning a series of denunciations of international treaties, but may withdraw from those that stopped according with its national interests, such as the INF treaty,” wrote Pushkov.
Alexey Pushkov’s statement sounded after President of Russia Vladimir Putin made his speech to the members of the government in Yalta on August 14. In his speech, the head of state said that Russia would act in a similar manner to the USA in issues of denunciation of international treaties.
“I just don’t understand whether we need some sort of special denunciation mechanisms,” said Putin. “The USA unilaterally withdrew from the SALT agreements, and that’s that.”
The President said that Moscow “tried to convince” Washington not to withdraw from this treaty, but the US did not stand down. According to Putin, the White House acted “in the interests of its own national security.” The head of state said that Russia was ready to act in the same way, when it deems it convenient.
Alexander Goltz, political and military observer
All the talk that other countries have intermediate-range missiles, and Russia and the US are the only countries not to have them, is not true. Russia and the US are absolutely superior to everyone else: 98 percent of nuclear weaponry belongs to these two countries. This means that in general intermediate-range missiles are unnecessary.
Russia has been threatening to withdraw from the INF Treaty for a long time, but these threats are demonstrative and propagandist in nature. From the practical point of view it would mean our return to the situation in the mid-80’s: the Soviet Union had a larger number of missiles backs then that were able to reach London, and the US, having placed intermediate-range missiles in Europe, had shells that were able to reach Moscow and St. Petersburg within four to six minutes.
The INF was the first treaty with a new mentality, when the sides stopped suspecting each other of the readiness to suddenly begin nuclear war. As is known, according to this treaty, the Soviet Union was obliged to destroy a larger number of missiles than America. As soon as trust between Russia and the West vanished, the will to withdraw from the treaty appeared.
The economical opportunities of NATO countries and the Russia today should be considered. As is known, the Soviet Union spent all of its funds on reaching nuclear equality with the West, met the goal but destroyed the economy of its country. The attempt to repeat this story in the Russian Federation, which currently has fewer resources, is doomed to fail.
The Administration of US President Barack Obama accused Russia at the end of July, 2014 of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Obama sent a letter to Vladimir Putin through the American embassy in which he declared that Russia was testing prohibited weaponry.
The Russian army, as the US had discovered, tested the new land-to-land intermediate-range ballistic missile. The US discovered the land-based missile tests 2008, three years later the White House became concerned about the issue. And in January 2014 the US government informed its NATO partners of the testing carried out by Russia.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed in 1987 by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan. The document, which was ratified in 1998, obliged the US and Russia to suspend production, testing and development of ballistic and flying small- and mid-range missiles which are able to hit targets at 500-5500 kilometers. The treaty is considered to be one of the symbols of the end of the Cold War.
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina