Tensions between the two nations reached fever pitch as the US claimed Moscow was in violation of the treaty by deploying and having land-based medium range missiles in Europe. US President Donald Trump made the decision to terminate adherence to the 1987 arms control accord, known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), senior administration officials said. The treaty bans either side from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, confirmed Washington had pulled out of the 32 year old agreement, made at the end of the Cold War with Vladimir Putin‘s Russia on Twitter.
He said: “On Feb 2nd, 2019 the US gave Russia six months to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
“Russia refused, so the treaty ends today. The US will not remain party to a treaty when others violate it. Russia bears sole responsibility.”
Russia’s foreign ministry described the treaty as “formally dead” in a statemen and denies the allegation, saying the missile’s range puts it outside the treaty.
Vladimir Putin’s nation also accused the US of inventing a false pretext to exit a treaty Washington wants to leave anyway so it can develop new missiles.
Russia has also rejected a U.S. demand to destroy the new missile, the Novator 9M729 – known as the SSC-8 by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The INF treaty, negotiated by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and ratified by the US Senate, eliminated the medium-range missile arsenals of the world’s two biggest nuclear powers and reduced their ability to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.
The treaty bans land-based missiles with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles (500-5,500 km).
The deal, signed between the two superpowers in 1987 aimed to keep nuclear missiles out of Europe.
t also banned missiles which had ranges of 310-3,400 miles.
The demise of the pact means…
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