USA, Russia and INF Treaty
What is the news?
- Vladimir Putin threatened to develop nuclear missiles banned under a treaty with the U.S. after Washington gave Moscow a deadline to comply with the key arms control agreement.
- This came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would withdraw from a major Cold War treaty limiting midrange nuclear arms within 60 days if Russia does not dismantle missiles that the U.S. claims breach the deal.
What happened before?
- On 20 October 2018, citing Russian non-compliance, US President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing the US from the treaty.
- Russian president Vladimir Putin announced on 20 November 2018 that the Kremlin was prepared to discuss the INF Treaty with Washington but would “retaliate” if the United States withdrew.
What is the INF Treaty?
- The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is an INF Treaty, formally called as Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles.
- It is a 1987 arms control agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union.
- The treaty came into force on 1 June 1988.
What are the weapons eliminated under this Treaty?
- The INF Treaty eliminated all nuclear and conventional missiles.
- It also eliminated the missile launchers of short range (500km to 1000km) and also missile launchers of long range (1000km to 5500km).
What are the drawbacks of the Treaty?
- The treaty applies only to ground-launched systems.
- Both USA and Russia are free to deploy air- and sea-launched missiles within the 500-to-5,500-kilometer range.