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US to pull out of INF treaty signed with Russia

Published on October 24, 2018
United States (US) President Donald Trump has announced that US will unilaterally pull out of three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty signed with Russia during Cold War.
US to pull out of INF treaty signed with Russia

About Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty:

  • It was a crucial Cold War-era treaty banning development, testing and possession of short and medium range ground-launched nuclear missiles with a range of 500-5,000 km.
  • The treaty was signed in December 1987 between then US President Ronald Reagan and his USSR counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev.
  • The treaty banned all nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500-1,000 km or (short-range) and 1,000-5,500 km (intermediate-range).
  • This treaty was central to ending arms race between two superpowers during cold war and protected America's NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks.
  • It was designed to provide a measure of some strategic stability on continent of Europe.

What are the reasons of US withdrawal?

  • US President Trump has alleged that Russia has violated the treaty and has been violating it for many years.
  • This violation comes after Russia's alleged development and deployment of Novator 9M729 missile (also known as SSC-8), that could strike Europe at short notice.
  • Accusations of Russia violating this treaty pre-dates Trump presidency and go back to 2008 during President Obama administration.
  • Under former President Barack Obama, US raised the issue of Russia testing ground-launched cruise missile with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014.
  • But Russia had denied allegations and raised counter-allegations of the US installing missile defence systems in Europe.
  • While two countries failed to find a resolution using dispute resolution mechanism in treaty, US continued to remain party to the treaty under pressure from its European allies.

What will be its implications?

  • The unilateral withdrawal from this treaty will allow US, new nuclear weapon options in Pacific in its efforts to counter China's growing influence.
  • There are also concerns that a unilateral termination of this treaty could mark beginning of a new arms race between US and Russia.


Q. United States (US) President Donald Trump has announced that US will unilaterally pull out of which three-decade-old treaty signed with Russia during Cold War?
a. Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
b. Immediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
c. Intercontinental-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
d. None of the above

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