The US officially withdrew from a main nuclear treaty with Russia in the Cold War era
Many fear that the fall of the treaty in Europe and Asia will spark a fresh arms race.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday to journalists that “the world will lose an invaluable nuclear war brake” and that “the risk of ballistic missiles is likely to be increased, not reduced.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Thursday that “Europe is losing some of its safety,” but on Friday he tried to relieve concerns, saying to German radio that the end of the treaty did not mean a renewed worldwide weapons race and that Europe would not participate in such a process.
He also called for the inclusion of China and India in a fresh international treaty. In February, US President Donald Trump said the nation would withdraw from the Treaty on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) on August 2 unless Moscow returned to compliance.
The US and NATO allies blamed Moscow for not destroying a non-compliant rocket system.
“Russia is exclusively liable for the disappearance of the treaty,” said US State Secretary Mike Pompeo in a declaration. “Since the mid-2000s at least, Russia has created, manufactured, flew-tested, and has now fought several battalions of its non-compliant missile.”
NATO allies echoed the US, saying “Russia stays today in breach of the INF Treaty, despite years of US and Allied involvement, including a final six-month chance to honor its agreement commitments. As a consequence, the US choice to withdraw from the treaty, a decision completely backed by NATO allies, is now taking impact.”
On the other side, Moscow blamed the United States for the crash of the treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry is quoted by the Sputnik news outlet as saying: “On 2 August 2019, at the initiative of the American side, the Treaty between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America on the elimination of medium-and short-range missiles signed in Washington on 8 December 1987 was concluded.”