Missile mystery of Moscow («Foreign Policy», USA)

Missile mystery of Moscow (
Our homeland violate any contract of INF?

In December 1987, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed a contract on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and the lowest range Nuclear Forces (INF), which became a landmark agreement, imposed a ban on an entire class of South American and Russian nuclear weapons. This contract is suspended escalation of the arms race. But this week, there have been alarming announcements that after two decades, possibly redundant would be so that our homeland has not kept the word. There are questions about whether Moscow does not conduct tests missiles in violation of the provisions of the contract, as written January 30 New York Times. Some assertions are incorrect, but some seem totally harsh.
If Moscow illegal developed medium-range missile, it will have significant implications for US-Russian arms control. But still huge implications this will have for the Russian Federation’s relations with its neighbors in Europe and Asia, including China.

Contract on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and the lowest imposed a ban on all South American and Russian ballistic and cruise missiles, ground-based range of 500 to 5500 km. When in June 1991, the term reductions under the contract was completed, was destroyed 846 American and Russian missiles in 1846, together with their launchers and other equipment. Stringent measures to check this agreement formed the basis of the provisions included in the contract for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1) from 1991.
At times, accusations (often they are expressed criticism Obama administration’s policy in the field of arms control) that Our homeland violates the contract of INF. (After the collapse of the Russian Union in late 1991, Our homeland has assumed obligations under Russian contracts.) Hitherto, these accusations were heard in the main concerning ballistic missile RS-26. But these accusations are not baseless.
Critics worry that the PC-26 — the average range, and it seems to correspond to reality. But Russia also experienced MS-26 at ranges exceeding 5,500 km. For this reason, it should be attributed to the level of intercontinental ballistic missiles, subject to the reduction of the contract START-3 from 2010. In the START-3 defines intercontinental ballistic missiles as ballistic missiles, ground-based range above 5500 km, while the contract of INF prohibits land-based missiles with a range greater than 500 kilometers, but less than 5500 km. Such a definition is quite right indicates that the RS-26 — is an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Simple laws of physics indicate that the IDB can be run over a distance of 5500 km less. Contracting INF Reagan administration understood this perfectly. In fact, the South American representatives believed that the Soviets after the elimination of their own intermediate and lower-range plan to use against the primary objectives in Europe and Asia, some of its own ICBMs.
For the latest changes concerning Russian cruise missile tests medium-range ground-based, there is a little much of information. But it is much more serious. Acting Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller (Rose Gottemoeller) told the midst January NATO allies about American concerns about these missiles, and Washington raised this issue with Moscow. But until a satisfactory answer he received.

It seems that the Obama administration is not willing to call it a breach of contract, at least, in public. Maybe she wants to get more time to resolve this prepyadstviya or click on Moscow in other matters. Questions of this kind in the past were resolved methods of secret diplomacy. The Reagan administration long years expressed concern that a large radar with phased-lattice in Siberia built in breach of contract for missile defense, and the Soviets finally agreed to remove it.
It’s no secret that certain forces in Moscow have long been voicing their objections to the contract of INF. In February 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed concern about the fact that Russia and the U.S. have banned missiles of medium and lower range, while other countries may be required to manage these systems. At the same time, Sergei Ivanov, the then defense minister and now head of Putin’s presidential administration, referred to the contract of INF error. But as soon as Russian officials did not express dissatisfaction with this agreement. In May 2012, Chief of General Staff of the Russian public to exclude the possibility of Russian exit from the INF.
If information about land-based cruise missile with reality, it will have dire consequences for Russian-American arms control also would question the integrity of in the performance of duties under the contract. Critics on Capitol mound immediately seized on the article in the New York Times, questioning all the administration’s approach to arms control, even the fact that the Iranian nuclear deal and an agreement on winding up of the Syrian chemical weapons. But while executing the contract in question may be INF severe complication, START-3 agreement parties comply Radzivil. Russia has already fulfilled two of the 3 main restrictive requirements under the contract, although these restrictions will come into force in February 2018.

Breach of contract of INF adds to the problem of the latest broad agenda of Russian-American relations, public and without many problems. Yet, the administration should take this matter seriously, and that it certainly does, in dialogue with Moscow.


Land-based cruise missile makes more fundamental complication for the neighbors of. Such a system is obviously designed for the creation of hazards and strikes against targets in Europe and Asia.


Russian affairs with Europe soon worsened as the West intensified fear about Putin’s authoritarian tendencies, the brutal behavior of Moscow in the post-monopoly energy giant «Gazprom». January 28, EU-Russia summit lasted only three hours. Followers of the EU, including Germany, which usually tries to maintain friendly relations with Russia, it is unlikely positively to the latest run of Russian nuclear weapons systems aimed at their country.


Russian cruise missile ground-based medium-range and cause concern in Asia. News about her appearance would lead to a cooling of Russian-Japanese relations, which not so long ago, a trend towards improvement. And this missile is unlikely to make the best Russian business with China. Beijing often acts as a partner in international affairs in Moscow and never occurs in the Kremlin Russian security threats lists. But Russian management is very concerned about the growth of the Chinese economy, which is accompanied by the PRC military buildup. If brand-new Russian missile exists, specifically strengthening Beijing could be an incentive for its occurrence.


New medium-range nuclear weapon will cause concern to all Russian neighbors, especially due to the fact that the Armed Forces already has about 4,500 nuclear weapons. It is unnecessary to 10 times greater than at least some other countries (except U.S.). Moscow will be very hard to explain it. If reports of the latest cruise missile with reality, then there is another Russian problem in relations with Washington.



Steven Pifer (Steven Pifer)

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