February 2, the United States will begin the procedure for withdrawing from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF). This was announced by Deputy State Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson, reports Reuters.
According to her, the United States is forced to withdraw from the treaty because of violations by Russia: “Based on yesterday’s discussion and relevant rhetoric, today we see no signs that Russia will decide to comply with [the INF],” the US Undersecretary of State said. Consultations of the Russian Federation and the United States in an interdepartmental format on the INF Treaty were held on January 15 in Geneva.
However, according to American experts, the United States is withdrawing from the treaty in order to respond to the growing threat from China, which is not constrained by the existing agreements. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the US Permanent Representative to NATO, said that the US has already stepped up military development.
According to experts, the gap in the INF Treaty will provoke a new arms race. Russian President Vladimir Putin at the extended meeting of the Defense Ministry’s collegium, which took place on December 18, 2018, also said that the breakdown of the INF Treaty was one of the main risks, since the treaty is a stabilizing factor in the international security system. For its part, Russia will be forced to respond accordingly, the president said.