The demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia can greatly imperil the security situation in Europe, says a former US Senate policy adviser and diplomat.
James Jatras, a former Senate foreign policy adviser in Washington, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday after the United States officially withdrawn from the INF agreement, blaming Russia for the Cold War-era treaty’s collapse.
“Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Friday, announcing Washington’s withdrawal.
“With the full support of our NATO allies, the United States has determined Russia to be in material breach of the treaty, and has subsequently suspended our obligations under the treaty,” he said.
Following the US announcement, Moscow also declared the formal end of the arms control treaty.
“The final demise of the INF agreement between the United States and Russia is another ominous sign in the direction in which the world is moving that even if President Trump naively accepted withdrawal from the agreement to result in a ‘much better agreement in a big beautiful room that would include the Chinese and the other countries,’ he was extremely naive if that’s what he believes his team was telling him would be accomplished here,” Jatras said.
“Instead it is quite clear what Mr. Bolton, Mr. Pompeo and others in his administration want is to break down the infrastructure of the agreements between the United States and Russia which can only greatly imperil the security situation in Europe,” he stated.
“Russia will now start targeting European countries. And I think there is a very small prospect of getting together a new agreement that would include other countries,” the analyst noted.
The US was scheduled to leave the treaty on August 2, a deadline set by US President Donald Trump in February.
NATO also blamed Russia for the demise of the missile treaty and vowed to respond in a “measured and responsible way” to Moscow’s deployment of a cruise missile.
Washington had said Moscow’s failure to comply with the treaty was the main reason behind its pullout decision. Russia, however, says it has not breached the accord and believes the US planned to abandon the deal as part of its plan to develop its own sophisticated missiles.
According to reports, Washington sees a benefit in developing new weapons as part of its new policy to confront both China and Russia.