Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said the US withdrawal from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) “is unacceptable.” Russian expert Lev Klepatsky evaluated the US position on the issue.
US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty would be a mistake, said the former Soviet leader, who signed the treaty in 1987 with President Reagan, adding that the decisions reached under the agreement were a major victory at the time.
He stressed that “this issue has been postponed, the process of eliminating nuclear weapons has stopped,” but instead of continuing to support disarmament, politicians make such decisions.
On October 20, Donald Trump declared the has US intentions to withdraw the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, explaining it with alleged violations by the Russian side of the terms of the agreement.
US national security adviser John Bolton supports the idea. Today he will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. During his visit to Moscow, he will also meet with the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin and Bolton will, of course, discuss the issue of short- and medium-range missiles, and some explanation is needed from the US side.
Professor Lev Klepatsky of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry assessed the US position on the subject.
“If they withdraw from that agreement, the United States is left with their hands untied, they are reviewing the Armed Forces’ weapons plans, since this treaty prevents the program, so this is why they want to abandon it,” commented Lev Klepatsky.
For the expert, the Americans, as usual, accuse Russia of allegedly violating this treaty, which is a pretext to leave. “In fact, the agreement is simply a hindrance, and they will follow their own interests, not international agreements.”
“It will be necessary to see to what extent this will influence our security, but we should not be involved in the race. We need to find symmetrical answers, but we should not behave like the Soviet government without panic,” concluded the Russian expert.
The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev and then-US President Ronald Reagan, who agreed to destroy all ballistic missile launchers with a range of 500 to 5,500 km.