Initiatives pour le Désarmement Nucléaire (IDN)

U.S.-Russia arms control in peril

A new infographic for the Nuclear Threat Initiative highlights and explains the alarmingly tenuous status of treaties that for decades have formed the foundation of U.S.-Russia arms control. Threats to agreements such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, now on the verge of collapse after the U.S. on Feb. 2 formally announced its intent to withdraw, endanger overall global security and stability and leave the world’s hard-fought arms-control structure to crumble, as depicted in the infographic by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.  The INF Treaty, negotiated and signed by President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, entered into force in the late 1980s. It eliminated land-based ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500-5,500 km that were deployed in Europe and intended to carry nuclear warheads. Without this treaty in place, key elements of security and confidence-building in Europe will be eliminated. In a recent interview on Bloomberg TV, NTI Co-Chair Sam Nunn expressed concern over current U.S.-Russian relations and explained that “it would be a very bad mistake for the United States and Russia to let [the INF] treaty expire.” The six-month withdrawal period on the INF treaty, which began on Feb. 2 and extends to August, means it is still possible that the US and Russia could reach a diplomatic agreement and keep the treaty in place.

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