Minister: treaty on missile liquidation is pointless if one side does not comply

The is not point in having Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty if one of the sides that signed it, which would be Russia in this particular case, does not comply with it, said Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs in an interview to 900 seconds programme, commenting on US President Donald Trump’s recent announcement regarding his country’s exit from the aforementioned treaty.

«There are very serious suspicions of Russia violating this treaty. What is the point of the treaty if missiles that could threaten Europe are still manufactured?» the minister asks.

Latvia’s foreign affairs minister admits that INFT is one of the most iconic treaties in history. It was signed in 1987 by USA and USSR, outlining the beginning of the end for the Cold War. The announcement by the US president regarding his country’s exit from this treaty does not inspire faith in Europe’s safety.

«But there is one important detail: USA believes Russia has already breached this treaty by developing weapons systems prohibited by document. I can understand the concerns USA has, but I would rather both sides to reach an agreement to preserve this treaty,» says Rinkēvičs.

He mentioned multiple times that USA has yet to pull out from the treaty.

As it is known, Trump has recently announced that USA plans to pull out from INFT. He also accused Russia of breaching the treaty.

Donald Trump also mentioned that USA will start manufacturing new missiles if no agreement is reached with Russia and China.

The treaty on liquidation of intermediate and close-range missiles was signed by then the US President Ronald Reagan and then the leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev in Washington 1987.

In accordance with this treaty, both sides were to liquidate both nuclear and conventional missiles with a close-range radius (500-1,000 km) and intermediate radius (1,000-5,500 km). The same applies to their launch systems. Liquidation of missiles finished in 1991. A total of 2,692 missiles were destroyed as part of this treaty. The liquidation requirement does not apply to missiles based at sea.

«We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out,» Trump told journalists in Nevada.

«Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years. I don’t know why [previous US President Barack] Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out. And we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we’re not allowed to,» Trump said.

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