The United States of America has accused Russia of cheating on its arms control obligation (INF Treaty), as Secretary Pompeo insists they have found evidence on this ‘material breach.
Secretary Pompeo while speaking at the meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) said it has found Russia in material breach of the INF treaty and will suspend all obligations as a remedy effective in 60 days unless Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance.
Pompeo who started his speech with a tribute to late US President, George H W Bush, said:
“Good evening, everyone. I want to begin this evening by expressing my condolences to the Bush family on the passing of a great man, President George H. W. Bush.
He embodied literally the best of America in his devotion to public service and his ardent patriotism. My wife Susan and I mourn with President Trump and all of our fellow Americans as we celebrate his incredible life. Tomorrow I will join the President and my fellow cabinet members in honoring him during America’s national day of mourning.
President Bush, during his entire lifetime, was a relentless defender of transatlantic security. Today, we strive to emulate his example by asserting powerful American leadership on behalf of our people and our allies. When the INF Treaty was inked in 1987, it represented a good-faith effort between two rivals to de-escalate the threat of nuclear war. President Reagan described it as the realization of “an impossible vision,” and Mikhail Gorbachev said it had “universal significance for mankind.”
“But whatever successes this treaty helped produce, today we must confront Russian cheating on its arms control obligations. As I told my fellow ministers earlier today, our nations have a choice. We either bury our head in the sand or we take common-sense action in response to Russia’s flagrant disregard for the express terms of the INF Treaty.” He said.
Secretary Pompeo explained how Russia have long violated its obligation, saying the latest discovering will not be the firt time Russia will be breaching the INF treaty. He said:
“It’s worth noting that Russia’s violations didn’t happen overnight. Russia’s been flight-testing the SSC-8 cruise missile since the mid-2000s. They’ve been testing it in excess of ranges that the treaty permits. All the tests of the SSC-8 have originated from a Kapustin Yar site from both a fixed and mobile launcher. Its range makes it a direct menace to Europe.
In 2017, General Selva of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress that Russia had deployed its missile, and I quote, “in order to pose a threat to NATO and to facilities within the NATO area of responsibility,” end of quote. Russia continues to press forward, and as of late 2018 has filled multiple battalions of the SSC-8 missiles.”
“Throughout all of this, the United States has remained in scrupulous compliance with the treaty. In spite of Russia’s violations, we have exercised the utmost patience and effort in working to convince Russia to adhere to its terms. On at least 30 occasions since 2013, extending to the highest levels of leadership, we have raised Russia’s noncompliance and stressed that a failure to return to compliance would have consequences.
Russia’s reply has been consistent: deny any wrongdoing, demand more information, and issue baseless counter-accusations. For more than four years, Moscow has pretended that it didn’t know what missile or test the United States was even talking about, even when we provided extensive information about the missile’s characteristics and testing history. It was not until we chose to publicize the Russian name of the missile in November of 2017 that Russia finally acknowledged its existence. Then Russia changed its cover story from the missile that does not exist to the missile that exists but is treaty-compliant.
These violations of the INF Treaty cannot be viewed in isolation from the larger pattern of Russian lawlessness on the world stage. The list of Russia’s infamous acts is long: Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, election meddling, Skripal, and now the Kerch Strait, to name just a few.” He said
Stating further Pompeo said Russia has to comply fully, saying:
“In light of these facts, the United States today declares it has found Russia in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations as a remedy effective in 60 days unless Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance.
We’re taking these steps for several reasons.
First, Russia’s actions gravely undermine American national security and that of our allies and partners. It makes no sense for the United States to remain in a treaty that constrains our ability to respond to Russia’s violations. Russia has reversed the trajectory of diminishing nuclear risk in Europe, where America has tens of thousands of troops and where millions more American civilians are living and working. These Americans live and work alongside many more millions of Europeans who are put in danger by Russian missile systems.
Second, while Russia is responsible for the demise of the treaty, many other states – including China, North Korea, and Iran – are not parties to the INF Treaty. This leaves them free to build all the intermediate range missiles that they would like. There is no reason the United States should continue to cede this crucial military advantage to revisionist powers like China, in particular when these weapons are being used to threaten and coerce the United States and its allies in Asia.
If you ask the question why the treaty wasn’t enlarged to include more nations, including China, keep in mind that it has been tried three times without any success already, and it has failed each time.
Third, inertia will not drive policy in the Trump administration. As President Trump has made clear and as I spoke about this morning, the United States will not support international agreements that undermine our security, our interests, or our values.
Finally, and I want to be clear about this, America is upholding the rule of law. When we set forth our commitments, we agree to be bound by them. We expect the same of our treaty counterparts everywhere, and we will hold them accountable when their words prove untrustworthy. If we do not, we’ll get cheated by other nations, expose Americans to greater risk, and squander our credibility.” He said.
On the role expected of America in world politics, especially the Russian growing influence, he said:
“Earlier today, I spoke on America’s enduring leadership role in the international order and I reiterate that powerful American leadership means never abandoning our responsibility to protect our security and our nation’s sovereignty. I’ve stated our position in no uncertain terms. The United States remains hopeful that our relationship with Russia can get better, can get on better footing.
With that being said, the burden falls on Russia to make the necessary changes. Only they can save this treaty. If Russia admits its violations and fully and verifiably comes back into compliance we will, of course, welcome that course of action. But Russia and Russia only can take this step.
We appreciate NATO’s strong support for the United States decision as expressed in this statement released today. The United States and our NATO allies stand vigilant that Russia’s lawless conduct will not be tolerated in the realm of arms control or anywhere else.
Thank you.” he concludes.