Putin signs decree suspending INF Treaty

MOSCOW (AA): Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended Moscow’s participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on Monday.

The decision was made because of “the violation of the terms of the treaty” by Washington, according to the document published on the Kremlin website.

The suspension will be in force “until the elimination of the breaches by the U.S. under the treaty or until its [treaty] termination,” it said.

In the last few decades the world has witnessed the destruction of the international legal base for disarmament.

In October 2001, U.S. President George Bush announced Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty — considered a pillar of international security.

In October 2018, U.S President Donald Trump announced exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

In a tit-for-tat response, Putin said Feb. 2 that Moscow was suspending its obligations under the INF treaty, which was legally done with his signing of the document.

The treaty has been widely seen as a cornerstone of European security in the post-Cold War era after the U.S. and Russia signed in 1987. It prohibits both countries from possessing and testing ground launch missiles with a range between 300 – 3,100 miles (900 – 5,500 kilometers).

The prolongation of the last “pillar”, the START Treaty, is currently under question as the U.S. links it with the INF Treaty.