News World U.S. formally withdraws from 1987 nuclear pact with Russia

U.S. formally withdraws from 1987 nuclear pact with Russia

The United States formally withdrew from a landmark nuclear missile pact with Russia on Friday after determining that Moscow was in violation of the treaty and had no plans to come into compliance with it.

U.S. President Donald Trump made the determination that the United States would terminate adherence to the 1987 arms control accord, known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), senior administration officials told reporters.

The treaty bans either side from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe. Washington signaled its intention six months ago to pull out of the agreement if Russia made no move to adhere to it.

“The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement about the U.S. withdrawal.

“Russia’s noncompliance under the treaty jeopardizes U.S. supreme interests as Russia’s development and fielding of a treaty-violating missile system represents a direct threat to the United States and our allies and partners,” Pompeo said.

The senior administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Russia had deployed “multiple battalions” of a Russian cruise missile throughout Russia in violation of the pact, including in western Russia, “with the ability to strike critical European targets.”

Russia denies the allegation, saying the missile’s range puts it outside the treaty, and has accused the United States 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 missile, the Novator 9M729, is 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 U.S. 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).

AGGRAVATING TENSIONS

The dispute is aggravating the worst U.S.-Russia friction since the Cold War ended in 1991. Some experts believe the treaty’s collapse could undermine other arms control agreements and speed an erosion of the global system designed to block the spread of nuclear arms.

Trump has sought to improve U.S. relations with Russia after a chill during the tenure of his predecessor, Barack Obama. He and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Wednesday about Siberian wildfires and trade.

Arms control did not come up in the call, the officials said.

European officials have voiced concern that if the treaty collapses, Europe could again become an arena for nuclear-armed, intermediate-range missile buildups by the United States and Russia.

The officials said the United States was months away from the first flight tests of an American intermediate-range missile that would serve as a counter to the Russians. Any such deployment would be years away, they said.

“We are just at the stage of looking at how we might further the development of conventional options,” one official said.

Trump has said he would like to see a “next-generation” arms control deal with Russia and China to cover all types of nuclear weapons.

He has broached the topic individually with Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, including at the G20 summit in Osaka in June.

China is not a party to nuclear arms pacts between the United States and Russia and it is unclear how willing Beijing would be to be drawn into talks.

China’s Foreign Ministry has reiterated that the country had no interest in joining such talks.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

162 new cases, five deaths announced on Monday

The Health Ministry announced the death of five persons due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 175,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Tuesday

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Tuesday, 19 January 2021: LIMASSOL Apostle Loucas Church, Agios Athanasios 08:30-16:30 Agios Stylianos Church, Linopetra 08:30-16:30 Cultural...

Searches for 70 year old woman missing at sea suspended due to bad weather

Searches to find a 70 year old woman missing off the Phiikoudes beach in Larnaca have been suspended due to extremely bad weather conditions...

Tourist arrivals plunge by 84% in 2020 in one of Cyprus’ worst tourist seasons due to Covid

Tourist arrivals in Cyprus reached a mere 631,609 plunging by 84.1% year on year in one of the worst ever season for Cyprus’ tourist...

Germany demands release of Kremlin critic Navalny

Germany on Monday demanded the release of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, detained on Sunday on his return to Russia, and said it would discuss...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...