Dropping INF Treaty will let U.S

US pulls out of nuclear treaty with Russia that's been a centrepiece since the Cold War

Putin pledges to work on a hypersonic missile after nuclear missile treaty with the US collapses

"At the same time they are actively working to create a land-based missile with a range of more than 500 km which is outside the treaty's limits". The ban eliminated this entire class of missiles and went down as one of the most successful acts of arms control ever. Leaving the INF treaty would allow the Trump administration to counter the Chinese, but it's unclear how it would do that.

The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. "We can not be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other". "Putin went on to state that Russian Federation would not seek new talks with the US, preferring instead to wait until the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation were prepared to engage in a more 'meaningful and substantive" dialogue.

The U.S. also announced that it would withdraw from the treaty in six months in accordance with the treaty's terms.

The U.S. has shared intelligence with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies that Washington says proves Russia's SSC-8 missile could give Moscow the ability to launch a nuclear strike in Europe with little or no notice. As early as 2004, senior Russian officials were sounding out whether the USA wanted mutually to get out of the treaty.

Russia, in turn, will inevitably begin to intensify the development of missile systems.

The Trump administration thinks the arms treaty was an unacceptable obstacle to more forcefully confronting not only Russian Federation but China. This is what the USA worries about.

What is the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty?

The Trump administration said it was freeing itself from the constraints of a nuclear arms control treaty with Russian Federation.

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Its navy has the bulk of the arsenal - about 80 per cent - with submarine-launched missiles able to strike at a range of about 6,000 kilometres. He claimed the new weapon can fly at 20 times the speed of sound and manoeuvre up and down, meaning it could breach most US missile defense systems. In contrast, the USA has responded in detail to these false Russian claims, demonstrating that we diligently comply with our treaty obligations in full. "China opposes the multilateralization of this (INF) treaty".

During the meeting with Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of violating the INF and other arms deals, including the non-proliferation treaty.

Ground-launched missiles were banned under the INF, but not sea or air-launched ones, which Russian Federation already possesses and that can be used to create the new systems. Russian Federation says they could also be used for attacks.

A world without both INF and New START conjures up a chilling scenario for arms control advocates.

After the US gave notice of its intention to withdraw, Putin said Russian Federation would do the same.

"In 2019-2020, we need to develop the ground-based version of the sea-launched Kalibr system with the long-range cruise missile, which has proven its worth in Syria". We continue to believe this is the case.

Still, some experts say there are ways to move forward even in the wake of INF's demise that don't require a big new treaty - if the will is there. The views and opinions expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.

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