Eli Ridder | Report
The Russian Federation on Saturday followed the United States in suspending their participation in the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty in a move that threatens to raise tensions.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday that the U.S. would suspend the arms control treaty that bans certain ground-launched cruise missiles.
The move was expected for several months, as Washington blamed Moscow for not following the 1987 INF pact — with the official suspension set for Saturday.
Pompeo’s announcement started a 180-day clock to complete the withdrawal unless Russia returns to compliance to the pact beforehand.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday his country was following their “American partners” in the withdraw and would start developing new missiles.
“All of our proposals in this sphere, as before, remain on the table, the doors for talks are open,” he added.
U.S. President Donald Trump was considering suspending the INF treaty as Washington and European powers have accused Moscow of noncompliance since 2014.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization released a statement saying its members “fully support” the U.S. suspension of their participation in the treaty.
However, some conflict analysts and military observers fear the U.S. leaving the treaty could trigger another Cold War arms race.
“Make no mistake. The dissolution of the #INFTreaty will result in a nuclear arms race unlike anything we’ve seen since the late cold war era,” one analyst for the non-partisan Strategic Sentinel said on Twitter, adding that “every step backwards is a step closer.”
Canada is one of the founders of the post-World War 2 NATO alliance, which we founded to counter Russian aggression and to solidify the allies in 1949.
Image of Vladimir Putin from previous files.