Termination of the INF treaty reaffirms Washington’s irresponsible policy, which could escalate tensions and destroy the European security system.
No evidence thus far has been provided that Russia violated the INF Treaty. The most important treaty for Europe’s stability and security was therefore ended for no reason. The European Union, in which France and Germany play a leading role, distanced itself from this fact and sided with the United States, as though Europe’s security is of no consequence. The EU should have taken more decisive action to save the INF.
Russia bears primary responsibility for the end of the INF Treaty, because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates the agreement. In July 2014, then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US or Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5500 kilometres.
In a joint statement released after the meeting held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 December 2018, NATO Foreign Ministers stated that the United States has remained in full compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty since it entered into force and that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security." The US and NATO have repeatedly engaged with Russia to preserve the INF treaty.
It is also false to claim that the EU did not take action to preserve the INF. In fact, the EU urged the treaty's parties, the United States and the Russian Federation, to remain engaged in constructive dialogue to preserve the INF Treaty and ensure its full and verifiable implementation, which is crucial for Europe’s and global security. Previously, the EU also called on the US to consider the consequences of its withdrawal from the INF for its own security, the security of its allies, and that of the whole world.