Start Europe Russia should be given a final opportunity to dismiss NATO’s

Russia should be given a final opportunity to dismiss NATO’s

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According to information from the German Press Agency, the foreign ministers of the member states want to record this Tuesday at a meeting in Brussels for the first time without any restrictions that Russia violated the contract from their point of view with newly developed cruise missiles. However, concrete consequences at the NATO level are likely to be initiated only when Moscow ignores calls for the speedy destruction of its weapons. For example, a NATO reaction could be an expansion of missile defense in Europe.

If Russia does not give in, this would also mean that the US could terminate the INF Treaty with political backing from the other Allies. It is conceivable that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is already announcing the initiation of the withdrawal procedure this Tuesday in order to increase the pressure on Russia once again. Moscow would have only six months left to save the deal by giving in. After this deadline, the US could drop out according to the text of the treaty.

The planned procedure is considered a compromise among the NATO partners. As early as October, US President Donald Trump had already announced his intention to cancel the INF disarmament contract for new Russian 9M729 cruise missiles. However, NATO partners like Germany fear that this would be a fatal symbol and trigger a new arms race. That’s why they want to use every opportunity to save the deal.

The INF Treaty on Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces was concluded in 1987 between the US and the then Soviet Union. It commits both sides to the abolition of all land-based ballistic missiles and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometers. At the same time, he also prohibits the production and testing of such systems.

The US has long accused Russia of violating the treaty by developing a cruise missile called 9M729 (NATO code: SSC-8). Russia denies this and in turn has repeatedly accused the US of breach of contract. A turning Moscow is therefore considered very unlikely.

In European military circles, however, it is believed that the US has no great interest in obtaining the contract. Namely, it obliges only Russia and itself to renounce the atomic medium range weapons. Other emerging military powers, such as China, can continue to build. The aim of the US could therefore be to replace the INF agreement with a new multilateral treaty. Alternatively, they could themselves build new land-based medium-range systems to deter opponents.