The ultimatum expired on December 4, 2018 by US Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo, which took Russia 60 days to return to compliance with the
Treaty on the Reduction of Medium and Short Range Missiles (INF). A
little earlier, last October, President Donald Trump announced the US
intention to withdraw from the treaty and, we pay special attention, to
begin developing new weapons. The reason he called the ‘existing’
violation of the agreement on the part of Moscow. The “cruise missile”
was a cruise missile, better known now under the symbol 9M729 “Novator”
(the initial development of the P-500, where “five hundred” is either
the mass of the warhead in kg or the range in km). According to the
Americans, its modified version is able to carry a warhead, including
with a nuclear filling of 5,500 kilometers.
The abandoned glove of Trump was accepted by Putin – the Russian president immediately declared his readiness to respond to the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty. Like, ‘you want to be measured by rockets – so we are ready.’ At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry called Washington’s possible withdrawal from the treaty a “world catastrophe”. They panicked in Europe, where the Americans planned to deploy longer-range missiles (in Poland and Romania there are already installations capable of launching cruise Tomahawks that can fly as far as the Urals). Thinking about the consequences of ‘rocket fire’ and the UN, realizing that the fine line between peace and war can be broken overnight. Moscow offered to sit down at the negotiating table in order to remove differences, and this is a logical way of resolving differences.
The first pancake came out lumpy – the United States was disappointed with the outcome of the meeting with Russia on the INF Treaty, which was held on January 15, 2019 in Geneva. Andrea Thompson, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, summarized: “The meeting was disappointing because it was clear that Russia continues to violate the treaty and was not ready to explain how it plans to return to its full and verifiable implementation.” In turn, the Russian representative of this meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, considered the US demands for the complete and verifiable destruction of the 9M729 missile unacceptable. According to him, during the consultations, the Russian side proposed specific measures on the rocket that would completely remove any assumptions of the American side about its non-compliance with the requirements of the treaty. At the same time, he stressed that Moscow is ready for such measures only under the condition of the reciprocal openness of the Americans to alleviate our own concerns.
In general, we assume that the result of the meeting turned out to be zero. Each side did not raise the visor for full openness. There is reason to think about their future performance. The United States was not particularly prepared to talk about missiles in Geneva, having only the directive to impose its own conditions on Russia, the main of which was the destruction of the missiles, which they considered potentially dangerous. Obviously, the way out of the INF Treaty for Washington is practically resolved, but it is necessary that the opponent be guilty. But Russia is not Iran, with which Trump took and left the nuclear deal, stating that this is a “reversed decision” without going into further explanations. Leaving the Medium and Shorter-Range Missile Reduction Treaty with Russia at the sight of the world community is not so easy. We need weighty arguments. One of which was invented cruise missile 9M729.
Arguments that Russia strictly fulfills the treaty, and the United States aggravates the situation, not wanting to reckon with the claims of Moscow, in Washington they simply do not hear. They also do not hear explanations of the destructiveness of withdrawing from the treaty, which can lead to undesirable consequences. And the concern of Europe with the revival of the arms race and, as a consequence, the growing threat of the use of missiles on its territory, the United States is deeply indifferent, that is, indifferent. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an interview with Serbian publications Politika and Vechernye Novosti, called on “Western colleagues to abandon methods of blackmail, threats and provocations” and respect international law.
It is obvious that the consequences of such a policy will be the most negative. Of course, we are not going to turn a blind eye to the deployment of American missiles, which pose a direct threat to our security. We will be forced to take effective retaliatory measures, ”Putin concluded.
We rise above the fight. What, in fact, assumed the INF Treaty of December 8, 1987, signed by USSR Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan ?. The parties pledged to destroy all the complexes of ballistic and cruise missiles of ground-based medium (1000–5500 km) and shorter (from 500 to 1000 km) range. That is, a small range of missiles should not exceed 500 kilometers, an average of -5,000. These conditions, to a certain extent, were respected for some time, albeit in an unfair proportion. We have destroyed 1846 missile systems, they are 846. Naturally, each of the parties quietly continued to carry out developments in the field of improving weapons, including the range of their use.
The Americans suspected that the new Russian rocket is an improved version of the Soviet C-10 Granat system, whose firing range is up to a thousand kilometers, and in the new version it can hit targets up to 5,500 km. Perhaps so. And one seemingly 9M729 cruise missile is two completely different systems, one of which can be attributed to small, and the second to medium. So formally the contract is not violated and fits into the designated mileage. The Americans panicked precisely because the short range turned into medium, which they did not expect and lost their ability to launch rocket attacks from Europe, and this, like driving a map with a curvimeter, is in any case more than 500 kilometers.
The Americans themselves, as they say, are also not well-born, and, as the Free Press has already reported, they are testing missiles with a range of up to 5,000 kilometers, calling them “target missiles” intended, supposedly, for developing and testing the global missile defense system. In this case, the ‘target’ (Hera, MRT, Aries, LV-2, Storm, Storm-2, MRBM) imitate a wide range of ballistic missiles of medium and short range. On closer examination, such missiles are universal accelerator means, which, depending on the configuration of their warheads, can also be used as combat ballistic missiles. The development and testing of such missiles capable of delivering warheads at a range exceeding the limitations of the treaty creates a precedent for the DSRMD bypass. Or take the heavy combat drones already in service with the US Army, such as the MQ-1B Predator and the MQ-9A Reaper, which are available in more than 3 thousand. Their contractual status has not been resolved, however, they formally fall under the term “ground-based cruise missile” in the INF Treaty.
“Casuistry in the mutual Russian-American claims under the Treaty on the
Reduction of Medium and Small-Range Missiles is also distinguished by
its resourcefulness in the arguments presented,” said Ruslan Pukhov,
director of the Technology Strategy Analysis Center. – Russia declares
that its 9M727 rocket does not violate the terms of the contract, since
it was initially developed and created within the framework of the
treaty and did not exceed a defeat distance of 500 kilometers. The new
version of the upgraded missile probably has a significantly longer
range, but neither its application nor the proven characteristics are
given anywhere. Why did the Americans cling precisely to it and so
insistently demand the destruction of these missiles? There is a nuance
here – the Iskander-M is used as a launcher for the Novator, and in the
case of at least one launch, it is possible to demand the destruction of
all the Iskander, which are Russian deterrent weapons. That is, the
Americans are thus trying to disarm the entire Russian army.
For its part, the United States, to put it mildly, is lying about its own plans to deploy missiles with longer-range agreements. And speaking of the readiness to create new missile systems, in the event of exit from the INF range, Trump knows that they already exist and the question of their delivery to Europe is only a matter of time. It is unlikely that the parties will now come to a reasonable compromise on the destruction of their ‘forbidden’ missiles and their locations, after all, from both sides, they are already charged. It is likely that the contract itself, which is already more than thirty years old, is outdated, and taking into account new threats, it also requires new writing and interpretation. Another thing is how far Russia and the United States are now ready for such a step.