NATO, US put pressure on Russian Federation over INF treaty

Cheryl Sanders
December 5, 2018

NATO and the USA say the 9M279 - also known by the designation SSC-8 - violates the INF treaty, which banned ground-launched missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.

Pompeo said Russia's violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty undermine American national security and as such, the USA should not be "constrained" by a treaty that hampers its ability to respond.

In response to Russia's alleged violation of INF treaty, United States says it will suspend its obligations under a landmark nuclear treaty in 60 days.

"It has to be fully implemented, so I hope that the time that is there to work on preserving the treaty and achieving its full implementation can be used wisely from all sides, and we will definitely try to make our part to make sure this happens".

Federica Mogherini has warned that Europe does not want to become a battlefield for global powers once again
Federica Mogherini has warned that Europe does not want to become a battlefield for global powers once again

"In light of these facts, today, America will announce it finds Russian Federation in violation of the treaty and we will remove ourselves from the treaty in 60 days unless Russian Federation returns to compliance", he said.

Russia's new SSC8 missile system is of major concern to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

NATO formally accused Russia on Tuesday of breaching the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which rid Europe of land-based nuclear missiles, issuing a statement that supported USA accusations of Russian violations.

Pompeo warned that if Russian Federation did not comply with the treaty's terms within 60 days, Washington could activate a six-month notice period for leaving the 1987 pact.

"We really felt that the world was moving forward when the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987 agreed", he said.

"The statements issued today by both Secretary Pompeo and the NATO Foreign Ministers that Russian Federation is in material breach of the INF Treaty are a clear indication that our European allies have joined with us in recognition of how grave the threat from Russian Federation has become", Cheney said in a statement.

The INF treaty was a US-Soviet agreement aimed at reducing the superpowers' nuclear arsenal. "We expect the same of our treaty counterparts everywhere - and we will hold them accountable when their words prove untrustworthy", he said.

Germany, the Netherlands and Belgian are concerned about the deployment of United States missiles in Europe, as happened in the 1980s.

A state department spokesperson said: "The United States announced a suspension of its obligations, effective 60 days after December 4, unless Russian Federation returns to full and verifiable compliance, as a remedy under customary worldwide law for Russia's material breach".

Mr Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said: "If the Americans ultimately withdraw from that treaty, there is a high risk, although now they deny it, that they will deploy these missiles in Europe".

"Abandoning the INF Treaty would be a step toward a new arms race, undermining strategic stability and increasing the threat of miscalculation or technical failure leading to an immensely destructive war", they wrote in the Washington Post in a commentary published minutes after Pompeo's announcement.

Other reports by iNewsToday