The end of the race of disarmament

The end of the race of disarmament

What comes after the rupture of agreements between Russia and the United States.

The announcement of the US authorities about the imminent withdrawal of the Russian-American Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range nuclear forces (INF) has become one of the most important international events of the year. The collapse of this agreement, and the chances of its preservation are actually equal to zero will lead to a new arms race and the deterioration of security in Europe and Asia. If the victim of the confrontation between Moscow and Washington will become the Treaty on the limitation of strategic offensive arms, the control arms can be definitively buried. However, according to “Kommersant”, the White house warned the Kremlin that “all will probably get a lot worse before it can get better.”

The announcement of the President of the United States Donald trump about the intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty was however expected, and so unexpected. Washington 2013 accuses Moscow of violating this agreement prohibiting the parties to produce and test missile (land-based) medium-and shorter-range (from 500 up to 5.5 thousand km), and also have to make launchers for them. A sign that the United States will soon withdraw from the Treaty, the experts considered the inclusion in the defence budget of the paragraph on the development of non-nuclear cruise missiles, ground-based range from 500 up to 5.5 thousand km, and the prerequisite — appointment of Advisor to Donald trump on national security John Bolton, the enemy bounding of any U.S. treaties.

A Kommersant source in the Russian foreign Ministry back in the summer said that the United States lead to the rupture of the INF Treaty, but he later admitted that Moscow did not expect that Donald trump will announce its intention to withdraw from the agreement so quickly.

Kommersant’s source close to the U.S. state Department, said that to inform the Kremlin about the plans of the White house was John Bolton, whose visit to Moscow was scheduled for October 21-23. However, on the eve of his trip to U.S. media, citing sources were leaks about a possible U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty, and on 20 Oct Donald trump has publicly confirmed this information.

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Meanwhile, Russia, which has a set of its own claims to the United States under this contract, was hoping to gap it still will not come. During the July summit in Helsinki, President Vladimir Putin offered Donald Trump pereotsenit commitment to the agreement and to strengthen consultations on strategic stability, which was discussed and this topic.

When the U.S. government announced its intention to withdraw from the agreement, some experts in both capitals suggested that Russia may even be on hand. In 2007, the then defense Minister Sergei Ivanov called the INF Treaty a relic of the cold war. He recalled that a number of others Russia countries have land-based missiles of intermediate and shorter-range missiles, while it shouldn’t be. “Forever can not continue”, — said the Minister. Now it turned out that the fault for breaking the agreement, of which Russia itself is thought out, will fall on the United States.

But Russian officials joy from the decision of Donald trump didn’t show. At least in public. According to Vladimir Putin, “the possible failure of the US obligations under the INF Treaty and uncertainty in their position on the issue of the Treaty on strategic offensive arms create risks of an uncontrolled arms race”. And Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview to “RIA Novosti” warned that the US “will inevitably lead to a further unbalancing of the global security architecture,” and admitted that “a situation may arise when the price of a mistake or misunderstanding could be fatal”.

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In addition, Washington has largely managed to absolve themselves of blame for the impending collapse of the Treaty. Initially, many countries, including the USA’s allies in NATO, reacted critically to the announcement of Donald trump. However, in the weeks that followed, the Americans decided on what you avoided earlier: they gave the Europeans their available evidence of Russian “violations”. What was demonstrated to the skeptics, it is not clear. Der Spiegel magazine reported that they in particular were shown satellite images.

Meanwhile, experts emphasize that only on the basis of this shooting a clear conclusion about the Russian “violations” make it difficult. Anyway, in the end, Washington’s position on the INF Treaty was supported by all members of the Alliance. But the US is not stopped. For certainly no one could accuse them of breaking such an important agreement, they delayed their decision to withdraw for two months, put forward Russia the ultimatum: until February 2, it must destroy or modify “launch breaker”.

In Russia, these conditions called blackmail Moscow insists that the missile was tested to a maximum of 480 km and no contract is not violated. In this demonstration, the Americans disputed the missiles the Russian side does not see the point. According to Deputy foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, “the United States have already made my decision.” Moscow offered Washington to conduct consultations on military and diplomatic positions, but the United States insists that Russia first found a breach, then she is going to do. Thus, according to the most probable scenario in February, Washington notified Moscow about the withdrawal from the INF Treaty — and in six months he will cease to exist.

Will the start Treaty. It expires in 2021, but Russia has repeatedly proposed to agree in advance to extend it for another five years. While Washington is not. John Bolton in an interview with “Kommersant” has made it clear that the decision can be taken “at the last moment”.

However, if it is negative, from the current system of arms control, in fact, nothing left (there are still a number of multilateral agreements, but they are ineffective and also on the verge of collapse). However, it is possible that in the end, to replace existing contracts will come a new arrangement. According to a source “” close to the US state Department, during a meeting in the spring of this year, Advisor of the national security Council on Russia Fiona hill told the Russian Ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov: “All will probably get a lot worse before it can get better.”

Elena Chernenko

HelpWhat you need to know about the Treaty of elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range

History, essence and the importance of the Treaty — in the material “Kommersant”.

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