Experts predict the worst crisis in the control of nuclear weapons since the 1980s
Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, confirmed that the United States would withdraw from the INF Treaty. This was said after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and high-ranking Russian officials, the Guardian newspaper reported .
John Bolton, a longtime opponent of arms control treaties, claims that Russia has violated the INF Treaty since the development and introduction of the new 9M729 cruise missile. Under the terms of the agreement, it will take six months for the United States to enter into force.
US officials also argued that the INF Treaty is tied up by the country’s hands in its strategic rivalry with China in the Pacific, because it did not allow responding to Chinese medium-range missiles that could threaten US bases, allies and shipping.
Bolton and the Chief Arms Control Adviser at the National Security Council (SNB) Tim Morrison also oppose extending another major pillar of arms control. This is a new START agreement from 2010 with Russia, which limited the number of deployed strategic warheads on both sides to 1,550 units. This agreement, signed by Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, then the president of Russia, expires in 2021.
The Pentagon, in general, supported the INF Treaty, but Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned other NATO ministers earlier this month that it will no longer be viable unless Russia removes its ground-based 9M729 missile from the defense system The United States violates the range limits of INF.
The INF Agreement is crucial to Euro-Atlantic security, and we remain fully committed to preserving this historic arms control treaty. But we urge Russia to talk about the capabilities of its new rocket.
The Treaty on the Elimination of Medium and Small-Range Missiles (DRSMD, INF) is an agreement between the USSR and the USA, signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan on December 8, 1987 during the Soviet-American summit in Washington. The Treaty entered into force on June 1, 1988. For the first time in history, the treaty allowed the elimination of a whole class of weapons: the parties pledged to destroy all ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles of medium (1000-5500 km) and short (from 500 to 1000 km) range, and not to rockets in the future.