On October 23, after confusing initial statements, the United States announced its determination that Russia is in material breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty commitments. On December 4, NATO foreign ministers endorsed the U.S. position regarding Russian noncompliance. The United States then announced its intention to suspend commitments under the treaty in 60 days if Russia continues testing and deployment of prohibited systems, namely the SSC-8, which thereafter would begin withdrawal procedures. The collapse of the INF Treaty coincides with a decline in U.S.-Russian relations, Russia’s growing militarism along NATO’s perimeter, and follows years of sustained violation of the treaty by Russia. If, as expected, the United States withdraws from the treaty, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) Treaty will be the last remaining bilateral nuclear arms control treaty between the United States and Russia.
Read the full report here.