A landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty between the United States and Russia officially collapsed on Friday, triggering fears of a new arms race…Pompeo said President Trump is beginning “a new chapter” and “a new era of arms control.” The secretary called upon Russia and China to join in.
By Sasha Inberger
Published on NPR, Aug 2, 2019
A landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty between the United States and Russia officially collapsed on Friday, triggering fears of a new arms race.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, banned ground-launched cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 km (310-3,400 miles). More than 2,600 missileswere destroyed by 1991.
But both sides walked away from the pact Friday, each blaming the other for its demise.
“Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. He accused Russia of failing to destroy all of its 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile systems, which the U.S. says are noncompliant.
In turn, Russia’s Foreign Ministry released a statement that read, in part, “By denouncing the INF Treaty, the United States confirmed its commitment to abolishing all international instruments that do not suit it for one reason or another. This leads to an actual dismantlement of the existing arms control architecture.”
The Trump administration announced in February that the U.S. was suspending its obligations under the 1987 INF treaty and would pull out in six months if Russia wasn’t in compliance. That declaration prompted Moscow a day later to make its own withdrawal announcement.