Putin signs order suspending Russia’s compliance with INF Treaty

Moscow: President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed an order suspending Russia’s compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with immediate effect.

The text of the order published on the Kremlin website read, “In accordance with Item 4 of Article 37 of the Federal Law No. 101-FZ dated July 15, 1995, On International Treaties of the Russian Federation, to suspend the implementation of the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles of December 8, 1987, until the United States of America rectifies its violations of the said Treaty or until it expires.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation is to send the signatory states of the Treaty referred to in Item 1 hereof a notice on the suspension of its implementation.”

“This Executive Order enters into force on the day of its signing,” the statement added.

The US on February 2 suspended its obligations towards the INF Treaty after Russia failed to comply with the accord until the 60-day ultimatum provided earlier. The Cold War-era treaty was aimed at curbing the arms race between the USSR and the United States and was signed by former US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

On February 20, Putin announced that Moscow would be forced to deploy weapons if Washington deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

The latest developments on the INF front have led to renewed fears of an arms race between Russia and the United States. The accord bans ground-launched missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometres. The Trump administration announced last October that because of Russian violations dating back several years, it was planning to pull the United States from the pact.