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The United States and Russia decided to withdraw from the INF treaty, which leads to the start of an armed war
As it had promised, the United States decided to leave the INF treaty, for its acronym Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces.
The North American country announced it after a negotiating meeting held on January 15. There, Andrea Thompson, undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, expressed her disappointment with the meeting, saying that "Russia continues to be in flagrant violation of the treaty (...) our message is clear: Russia must destroy its system of non-compliant missiles", as La Razón reminds.
Leer en español: EE.UU vs Rusia: ¿el inicio de una guerra?
The treaty, signed in 1987 by the two world powers, aims to "eliminate all short and medium range nuclear and conventional missiles", as stated by EFE. Precisely, one of the main reasons why the United States decided to withdraw from the treaty, is because "Russia refuses to destroy the Russian cruise missile Novator 9M729", according to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. For NATO, this missile violates the treaty, since it has a range of more than 500 kilometers.
However, the Ministry of Defense of Russia argued that the missile does not reach 500 kilometers, but "480 kilometers, so it is within the treaty agreements".
The response of Russia
Before the news of the United States, a few hours later Vladimir Putin confirmed that Russia would also leave the treaty. According to the official website of the Kremlin and as stated by CNN, Putin said that "the American partners have announced that they are suspending their participation in the treaty, so we are also suspending ours".
Like his counterpart, Putin also announced that he is willing to enter into new dialogues, but that he would not be the one to take the initiative. In addition, and as a result of his departure from the treaty, the Russian president ordered the Army of his country to manufacture new weapons and develop a new ballistic missile with a hypersonic medium range, as El País affirms. Despite rearming, Putin maintained that he would not use his weapons unless the United States used them first.
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The United States also violated the treaty
Due to the accusations of the United States to Russia, the latter country revealed a photo to show that, indeed, the North American country ignored the specifications of the treaty.
By means of a satellite image, one can observe "the plant of the American military corporation Raytheon, which allegedly began in 2017 the preparations to manufacture missiles prohibited by the treaty," according to Europa Press.
According to @mod_russia in June 2017 #Raytheon corporation launched expansion of its facilities in Tucson, Arizona, one of the biggest national missile producers.— Russia in Houston (@RusCons_TX) 2 de febrero de 2019
The area of the facility has grown 44%, the staff members increased 2 thousand specialists. pic.twitter.com/RPl68b9N7L
For the Ministry, the complex "increased by 44% and consists of several production facilities, testing platforms, missile assemblies, laboratories, among others. (...) It is irrefutably demonstrated that the US Administration decided to withdraw from the INF Treaty a few years ago before it began to make unfounded accusations against Russia of violating it".
An armed war
For the diplomatic correspondent of the BBC, Jonathan Marcus, with the decision of the two countries the possibility of a new nuclear arms race is raised. For Marcus, the synchronization of the treaty's departure is worrisome due to the proximity of the expiration of the START treaty, which limits the long-range missiles; the treaty expires in 2021, but both countries can extend the duration.
Similarly, for the director of the Center for the Control and Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and as La Razón affirms, with what happened we would be in a prelude to a new arms race and even increase a nuclear war.
This generates a tense situation, especially for the United States. Well, the country has frictions or differences with countries that are stronger talking in terms of having nuclear weapons such as Russia or North Korea. Although with this last country the relations have been stable, it could be expected that in the face of a possible attack, North Korea will respond.
It seems that the Cold War began to flood this new century because added to the race to show that the country can have the most powerful and destructive weapons, there is the friction that the United States and Russia have with Venezuela. Since the former supports the interim opposition president Juan Guaidó and the latter maintains his support for Nicolás Maduro.
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Translated from "EE.UU vs Rusia: ¿el inicio de una guerra?"