During approval of the Intermediate – Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, NATO foreign affairs ministers agreed with USA and concluded that Russia has developed and has tested missiles banned by the document, thereby breaching the treaty and putting at risk Euro-Atlantic security.
On Tuesday, 4 December, USA presented a report on halting the treaty if Russia does not change its position in regards to the lasting violations of the treaty it has committed over the years. Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry supports the decision made by USA. The ministry believes the objective of this announcement is letting Russia comply with requirements of the treaty and thereby keep the document in force.
INF was one of the pillars for Euro-Atlantic security for more than 30 years. USA and its NATO allies support effective armament control and stand in favour of compliance with INF and other armament control mechanisms. «Unfortunately, in spite of repeated requests from USA and NATO over the past year, Russia has continued violating requirements of INF treaty. The Foreign Affairs Ministry agrees with NATO allies that the situation in which USA one-sidedly complies with the treaty is unsustainable and does not contribute to the security of Euro-Atlantic space,» believes Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.
Russia’s actions in relation to INF should be viewed in a broader context – together with the country’s violations of international law in Ukraine and Georgia, attempts to weaken other armament control mechanisms, as well as aggressive military drills near the borders of NATO allied countries. Such behaviour from Russia does not indicate a desire for constructive participation in enhancement of security in Euro-Atlantic space and requires a strong answer that would prove the effectiveness of NATO’s deterrence and defensive capabilities, BNN was told by Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Latvia invites Russia to respond to efforts from USA and take part in a constructive dialogue to preserve INF and ensure its continue function in coming years.