- The departure of the US from a key treaty unleashes fear of the nuclear race
Russia will not launch to develop intermediate-range ground nuclear missiles, banned by the INF Treaty, but will do so immediately if Washington deploys its own, said Russian President Vladimir Putin, who warned against the resumption of "an arms race" after the departure of Moscow and Washington from the INF nuclear disarmament Treaty. Putin asked the United States to enter into a "serious dialogue" to "avoid chaos."
Russia will fulfill the commitments it has unilaterally assumed in regard to short and medium range missiles located on land. "We will not deploy [the missiles] as long as medium and short-range missiles of American manufacture are not located," he explained. The United States and Russia formalized on Friday the end of the treaty forged during the Cold War, after months accusing each other of violating this agreement.
"To avoid chaos where there is no rule, limit or law, we must reflect again on all possible consequences, and engage in serious dialogue without ambiguities," said Putin, who chaired a meeting of his Security Council and took advantage of this appointment to make a solemn declaration, something unusual in this format. "Russia considers it necessary to resume talks completely and without delay to ensure strategic stability and security: we are ready."
He also ordered the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, and also the intelligence services to "follow" the Washington movements in this regard. Putin's plan, at least outside the door, is that Moscow's initiatives have "exclusively a reciprocal nature" .
Many gun control experts say that the disappearance of INF will not change things overnight. But in the medium term the arms race seems inevitable. The US claims that Moscow has increased its capabilities by violating the INF, which concerns those missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. This agreement allowed in the 1980s the elimination of Russian SS20 rockets and the American Pershing, at the heart of the Euro-Missile crisis.
The end of the INF Treaty has "seriously complicated the situation in the world and created fundamental risks for all," Putin said today, insisting that "the responsibility rests entirely on the US side." "Despite everything that has happened, we have the common sense of our American colleagues and their allies, and their responsibility to their people and the entire international community," Putin said. "This script is the resumption of an uncontrolled arms race," said the Russian leader, who believes that abandoning the INF "will inevitably lead to devaluation and weakening of the master structure of global security."
Now only a bilateral nuclear agreement between Moscow and Washington remains in force: the START Treaty, according to which both powers maintain their nuclear arsenals well below the level of the Cold War, and which expires in 2021. The defenders of arms control believe that the end of both treaties would increase the risk of an accumulation of nuclear and conventional missiles along Russia's border with Eastern Europe.
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- Vladimir Putin
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DefenseThe US exit from a key treaty unleashes fear of the nuclear race