The US secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced an immediate suspension of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.
Speaking from the State Department, Pompeo said –
“For years, Russia has violated the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty without remorse.
Russia’s violations put millions of Europeans and Americans at greater risk. It is our duty to respond appropriately.
It is our duty to respond appropriately”
The expected suspension has raised concerns about a renewed arms race with Moscow putting Europe on the edge. Pompeo’s announcement seeks 180 days for Russia to become compliant if not withdrawal becomes imminent.
It’s just Russia and US who are the two parties in the treaty but ramifications could be felt across entire Europe.
Ground based nuclear missiles could travel upto 3100 miles making Europe vulnerable. American allies, including the NATO has supported the decision.
The deployment of the 9M729 (SSC-8) missile in Russian defence mechanism was the main reason for the withdrawal of the treaty.
According to US officials two missile battalions of SSC-8 were deployed with 4 launchers in each battalion. Each launcher is supplied with six nuclear tipped cruise missiles. They operate at a range of upto 3000 kilometers.