Putin submits bill on suspension of INF treaty

President Vladimir Putin has submitted to Russia’s parliament a draft resolution on Moscow’s suspension of the INF treaty with the United States.

Putin submitted the resolution to Russia’s State Duma on Thursday. The legislative body will now have to approve of the suspension.

In February, the US announced its unilateral withdrawal from the INF Treaty. It claimed that Russia’s testing of the 9M729 missile breached the terms of the landmark 1987 deal, which bans ground-based missiles with a range of between 500km and 5,500km. In response, Russia also suspended the country’s participation in the treaty.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty came into force in 1987 and banned both the Soviet Union and the US from developing and deploying land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km. The agreement was signed to de-escalate tensions in Europe, where both countries had dozens of such missiles deployed, posing a risk of an accidental nuclear exchange.

The missiles only needed minutes to reach their targets, leaving a very small window for the other side to decide whether a detected attack was a real one, requiring immediate retaliation, or a false positive.


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