Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the treaty responsible for helping to end the Cold War, is now dead. The 1987 treaty was ended after both Russia and the United States blamed each other for the deal’s demise. This treaty stopped both nations from developing mid-range nuclear weapons, but many now fear this is a sign another nuclear arms races will take place.
Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty, which helped put an end to the almost four-decade-long Cold War. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the U.S. withdrew from the treaty after they determined that Russia was making a cruise missile, which violates the agreement, the Daily Mail reported.
Russia’s foreign ministry, Sergei Lavrov, placed the blame solely on the United States after the U.S. announced they would be testing a new missile. Russia argued that violated the agreement.
With the two powerhouse nations at odds once again, many experts are worried this signals a new nuclear arms race is bound to take place in the near future. Lavrov issued a statement that explained: “In Washington, a serious mistake has been made,” before adding the U.S. has run a “propaganda campaign” against Russia.
Along with Russia and the U.S., experts are concerned that China will be included in this nuclear arms race. NATO sided with America when determining who was to blame for the treaty’s demise, the BBC reported.
In turn, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov responded by stating: “We have suggested to the US and other NATO members to consider announcing a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-range missiles.”
NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg tried to de-escalate the situation. “We don’t want a new arms race, and we have no intention to deploy new land-based nuclear missiles in Europe.”
Pompeo spoke at a security summit in Thailand, where he doubled down placing the blame on Russia. “Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise,” he said. “Russia failed to return to full and verified compliance through the destruction of its noncompliant missile system. The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia.”
The only treaty keeping the two nations from building a massive nuclear stockpile is the New START treaty. Unfortunately, this treaty will end in 2021, and Trump said if he is still president then he may not renew it, Fox News reported.