State Duma suspends Russia’s compliance with INF Treaty
Russia’s State Duma has passed a bill suspending the country’s compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
The bill was submitted by Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 30. A total of 417 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, while one abstained from voting.
According to the document, Russia is suspending its compliance with the Treaty but may resume it in accordance with the president’s decision. The document will enter into force on the day of its publication.
"We are making this decision based on the need to protect our national interests," State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said. "The United States has unilaterally suspended the Treaty, putting the entire global security system at risk," TASS cited him as saying.
The Federation Council may consider the bill on June 26.
First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that due to the U.S. initiative to withdraw from the INF Treaty, one of the mechanisms controlling the arms race is lost. "Adoption of this law is Russia's response to the U.S. decision to suspend the treaty. If such missiles are deployed in Europe, then, as our president said, we will immediately retaliate. As a result, the situation will come to where it all began in 1987, when the agreement was signed. Now only one weapon deterrence mechanism exists - the New START, which expires in 2021. So far the Americans have not expressed any desire to extend it or sign a new one," he pointed out.
"Unfortunately, the level of global tension only rises from such actions. And it is not yet clear what will happen next, the Americans themselves do not know what they want to do after that. It is clear that they are trying to expand the number of parties to such agreements, include China and other countries with weapons of a similar class. But for the time being, their attempts are unsuccessful. We will also think about resuming the production of medium and shorter-range missiles and, if necessary, their deployment as a response to the deployment of American missiles against the country," Vladimir Dzhabarov emphasized.
Head of the Analytical Section of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin, in turn, drew attention to the fact that now Russia will be able to develop missile technologies on a par with other countries.
"The U.S. side has made it clear that the INF Treaty can not be revived in a bilateral format, since it should include other states, first of all, China, which already has several hundreds of such missiles. But China is not going to sign any treaties, it is quite satisfied with the previous situation, when nothing limited Chinese missiles, and the Russian and American forces were restrained by the INF. There are no prospects for the restoration of this contract," Alexander Khramchikhin expressed confidence.