The United States of America (USA) had officially withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia claiming it weakens its national security interests.
INF Treaty was a nuclear arms-control pact signed between the United States and the Soviet Union (now known as Russia) in 1987. Under that treaty, both the countries decided to eliminate their stock of intermediate-range ground based ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 to 5500 kilometers. As a result to it, a total of 2692 missiles were destroyed by June 1, 1991.
According to a US defense official, US military is all set to test a non-nuclear cruise missile developed specifically to challenge Russia in Europe.
“Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise. Russia failed to return to full and verified compliance through the destruction of its non-compliant missile system,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
On the other hand, Russian Foreign Ministry is blaming US for the termination of the treaty saying that it was the initiative of Washington.
The US, in February, announced that this would take place on August 2. The test is expected to take place in the next few weeks which be Trump administration’s answer to Russia’s defiance with the INF Treaty, the senior US defense official said.
However, analysts fear the US non-nuclear cruise missile test will yet again start a new arms race with Russia.