Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has lamented the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which he once signed with US counterpart Ronald Reagan, saying it would undermine international security. The first and only President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, said that by pulling out of the 1987 treaty the US is dealing a potentially crushing blow not only to European, but the entire international security system.
“The termination of the treaty will hardly be beneficial for the international community, this move undermines security not only in Europe, but in the whole world,” Gorbachev, 88, told Interfax on Friday.
Also on rt.com US and Russia after the INF Treaty: What should Europeans fear? He said he used to hope Washington would reverse its course and revise the decision it made in February. It did not, instead finalizing the withdrawal on Friday, six months after it put its implementation on hold, while accusing Russia of having developed a missile in violation of its terms.
Moscow has flatly denied the allegations, blaming Washington for not sticking to the agreement instead. Russia sees the deployment of American anti-missile defense systems to Europe, which can be easily repurposed to fire intermediate-range nuclear missiles, as a violation of the treaty.
“There still were some hopes pinned on our partners, that, unfortunately, did not materialize. I think, now we all can see that a blow has been dealt to strategic security,” Gorbachev said.
This US move will cause uncertainty and chaotic development of international politics.
Gorbachev has firsthand knowledge of the particulars of the treaty, having signed it in 1987 together with then US President Ronald Reagan. The agreement banned the development, production, and deployment of land-based and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500km.
US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in the White House in Washington D.C., December 8, 1987 © Xinhua / ZUMA Press/ Global Look Press With the INF Treaty no longer there to underpin the post-cold-war European security architecture, another important pillar of the nuclear non-proliferation system is hanging in the balance, with Washington now expecting to end the New START treaty. The agreement signed in 2011 was aimed at curtailing the US’ and Russia’s vast nuclear arsenals by a third by capping the numbers of various weapons.
On Tuesday, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the treaty, which he called “flawed”, is unlikely to be extended after it expires in 2021, while Trump said that he wants to “make a deal” with Russia that would include “some kinds of arms control,” but failed to elaborate.
Also on rt.com Bolton says ‘flawed’ New START treaty with Russia unlikely to last past 2021 Gorbachev called on all parties to “focus on the preservation of the last pillar of the global strategic security,” whose fate has been made “uncertain” by Washington‘s statements.
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