The Ukrainian crisis continues to worsen the situation in the international arena. The United States and European states are trying to put pressure on Russia, which does not share their views on the Ukrainian events. Until recently, the only instrument of such pressure was sanctions imposed against individuals and organizations. Now it seems that official Washington is forced to resort to "trump cards" and accuse Russia of violating one of the international agreements - the Treaty on the Elimination of Medium and Small-Range Missiles (INF).
On the morning of July 29 (Moscow time), domestic media, citing their American colleagues, reported on new charges from the United States. At first, it was reported that the American leadership had sent a special letter to Moscow, in which claims were made regarding certain violations. A few hours after this, the official representative of the Washington White House Josh Ernest explained the situation. According to him, the information provided by American intelligence made it possible to determine that Russia is violating the obligations assumed when signing the INF Treaty.
The official recalled that in accordance with this agreement signed in 1987, the United States and the Russian Federation as the successor of the USSR are not allowed to develop, test and operate ground-based missiles with a range from 500 to 5500 kilometers. The agreement imposes similar restrictions on launchers and other developments related to missiles of forbidden classes. According to the New York Times, the current statements of official Washington are connected with the testing of a certain Russian cruise missile. Allegedly, during one or several recent test launches, the rocket (s) was launched at a distance of less than 5500 km, which was interpreted as belonging to the class of medium-range missiles.
It should be noted, the version of the tests of an unnamed cruise missile, which entailed a specific reaction from the United States, has not yet been confirmed. On July 29, the US State Department published a report entitled “Participation in Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Compliance Agreements”, on which J. Ernest’s speech was based. The report indicates that Russia violates the INF Treaty, but does not provide any facts and evidence of such a violation.
From the words of the representative of the White House, it follows that official Moscow has already responded to the letter from the American capital. At the same time, Ernest called the answer “completely unsatisfactory”. Details of the letter and the answer to it have not yet been disclosed. It is quite possible that US officials did not make a claim on the part of Russia regarding the absence of any concrete facts pointing to alleged violations.
An interesting fact is that the United States is no longer trying to blame Russia for the development and testing of medium and short-range missiles. Similar statements were made last year, and the first predictions about a possible violation by Russia of the existing treaty appeared even earlier. Probably the reason for such reasoning was the proposals of the Russian leadership to revise the terms of the contract and their possible changes in accordance with the existing international situation. In particular, it was proposed to open the contract for signature by all willing states. A few years later, Russian high-ranking officials began to note the ambiguity of the terms of the contract and its ambiguity under current conditions. Not even excluded Russia's withdrawal from the agreement.
Recall, the agreement on the elimination of medium-range and short-range missiles was signed in December 1987. In accordance with this document, the USSR and the USA rejected the existing and future ballistic and cruise missiles with a range from 500 to 5500 km. For several years, the Soviet Union destroyed more than 1800 missiles and assistive technology, the United States - more than 800. It should be noted, at the initiative of some high-ranking officials, the Soviet side included in the contract and later destroyed all the OTR-23 Oka tactical missile systems available to it, which, according to their characteristics, were not subject to the document.
The text of the official Russian response to the letter from the administration of Barack Obama has not yet been published. Nevertheless, it is possible to present the general meaning of this document. In addition, a number of Russian experts have already commented on the American charges. All experts, whose words cite the media, remind us that Russia has long fulfilled all its obligations under the treaty and has been complying with them to this day. In this case, all the recent accusations look strange, aggressive and even senseless.
It should be noted that in recent months, the United States has repeatedly accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty. The first such statements were made last year, after which they were repeated several times. However, so far everything has been limited to words, since no evidence of violations has ever been presented. Thus, recent statements by US officials and relevant fragments of the State Department report can be considered another attempt to put pressure on Russia in the context of the events surrounding the current Ukrainian crisis.
On the materials of the sites:
The United States accused Russia of violating the terms of the INF Treaty
- Ryabov Kirill