Analysis: Time to ‘terminate’ Soviet-era intermediate ICBM ban over habitual Russian violations

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The former Soviet Union and the United States signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty 30 years ago last week, but for the past decade Moscow has been routinely violating it.

As such, a new analysis says, the U.S. should scrap it to avoid being put at further disadvantage:

The treaty was unprecedented. For the first time in the history of nuclear arms control, it actually eliminated an entire class of nuclear-armed ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

But the good news didn’t last. Russia has been violating the treaty for nearly a decade now, and the United States is nowhere close to bringing Moscow back into compliance with the treaty’s terms.

So, as the treaty turns 30 years old, it’s clear that its day has come and gone. An agreement that only one side upholds is not worth the paper it is written on. It’s time to terminate the treaty.

Russia has violated the treaty at least twice. The U.S. government’s 2017 report identifies a Russian ground-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile 3N-14 that can potentially carry a nuclear warhead.

More recently, Christopher Ford, special assistant to the president and senior director for weapons of mass destruction and counterproliferation on the United States National Security Council staff, identified another Russian missile that violates terms of the treaty: the 9M729. This means that Russia’s violations are growing in magnitude. [source]

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