Published: Wed, February 06, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Lavrov Denies Possible Return to Cold War with US

Lavrov Denies Possible Return to Cold War with US

Leaving the INF treaty would allow the Trump administration to counter the Chinese, but it's unclear how it would do that.

Nuclear weapons experts at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a statement this week that while Russia's violation of the INF treaty is a serious problem, United States withdrawal under current circumstances would be counterproductive.

About 90 percent of China's missiles are said to have intermediate ranges as the country is not party to the INF treaty.

Unlike the Kremlin, the U.S. The US deployed similar missiles in response, in the 1980s, leading to negotiations that produced the INF treaty.

According to him, on 2 February Belarus received an official notification from the United States about the country's withdrawal from the INF Treaty in a six months' time.

But Russia's response to the United States didn't stop there. As early as 2004, senior Russian officials were sounding out whether the USA wanted mutually to get out of the treaty. The Chinese are seeking hegemony over all of southeast Asia and the United States wants to ensure that any new missiles - cruise or ballistic - it develops will out do the Chinese, let alone the Russians. The test took place at Russia's Kapustin Yar missile test range and is the thirteenth to date involving the missile.

What Trump and his advisers failed to appreciate is the fact that the treaty deprives Russian Federation of a significant military capability. This is what the USA worries about.

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He acknowledged that a future pact was unlikely to be as sweeping as the INF treaty. Rather than rush to judgment, the US pursued diplomacy for more than five years, first raising the issue with Russian Federation in 2013. It said Russian Federation was violating the treaty's terms and had six months to become compliant. Russian Federation is now looking at modifying its 3M22 Zirkon anti-ship cruise missiles, a government source told the Kommersant newspaper.

Latvia, like other members of the NATO alliance, has backed the United States which has charged since the administration of former president Barack Obama that Russian Federation is infringing on the INF treaty with the range of its new 9M729 missile system. In contrast, the USA has responded in detail to these false Russian claims, demonstrating that we diligently comply with our treaty obligations in full.

The row over the treaty has drawn a strong reaction from Europe and China.

The INF treaty was the first arms control measure to ban an entire class of weapons: ground-launched cruise missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500km.

"These weapons are inherently unsafe: The longer we tolerate their existence, the more likely we are to see them used".

Trump had said he would like to "get everybody in a big and handsome room and do a new treaty", but in the meantime, the USA "can't be put at a disadvantage".

A world without both INF and New START conjures up a chilling scenario for arms control advocates. According to one source, US intelligence assesses that Russia's development efforts on the missile continues. Trump said in a statement that the U.S. will "move forward" with developing its own military response options to Russia's new land-based cruise missiles that could target Western Europe. We continue to believe this is the case.

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