What U.S. exit from INF Treaty means?
Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed the United States’ plans to quit the Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty with permanent members of Russia’s Security Council, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"There was a detailed discussion on issues of strategic stability and international security in the context of the forecast U.S. pullout from the INF Treaty," TASS cited him as saying.
The meeting was attended by speakers of both houses of Russia’s parliament Valentina Matviyenko and Vyacheslav Volodin, Chief of the Kremlin Staff Anton Vaino, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, federal security service FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov, foreign intelligence SVR chief Sergei Naryshkin and special presidential representative for nature conservation, ecology and climate Sergei Ivanov.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called on both sides to stick to the treaty. "What we definitely don't want to see is our continent going back to being a battlefield or a place where other super-powers confront themselves. This belongs to a faraway history," Mogherini told reporters in Romania.
The U.S. gave Russia 60 days to return to compliance in December when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a NATO Foreign Ministers meeting that Russia was in "material breach" of the treaty.
The President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the main risk of a U.S. exit from the INF Treaty is the increase in tensions in East Asia and Europe. "In Europe, it will happen due to the threat of deploying short- and intermediate-range missiles from both the American and Russian sides. In East Asia, the issue of forming the American infrastructure to contain China using this category of armaments will be on the agenda," he explained.
“Another consequence of the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty is stimulating the proliferation of nuclear missile technologies in non-nuclear, threshold states and unofficial nuclear states seeking to acquire nuclear weapons," Mikhail Remizov added, noting that the United States itself is not at any risk after its exit.
Russia, in turn, will inevitably begin to intensify the development of missile systems. "A number of military-technical challenges arise here, including those related to adapting the current prospective hydrosound studies to ground systems," the president of the National Strategy Institute said.
First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov earlier noted that Russia's response to the U.S. exit from the INF Treaty will be production and deployment of intermediate-range nuclear forces.
"Once the Americans withdraw from this treaty, it means that they are trying to produce and deploy such missiles. Russia's response will depend on the place of their deployment - if Europe, then we will deploy our complexes at our western borders, and if Asia, it means that Russian missiles will be on the Asian territory of the Russian Federation. Since intermediate-range missiles are up to 5.5 thousand km, and short-range missiles are up to 1.5 thousand km, it's an approximate distance of our missiles from the American ones," he explained.
The senator stressed that the exit from the INF Treaty would jeopardize global security. "Any agreement that provides for maintaining the balance of power is very important, and the slightest changes to it will entail major consequences. At any moment there may be a hot head which will violate the status quo, and then uncontrollable development of events is likely," Vladimir Dzhabarov warned.