Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has described the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as a big mistake.
US President [Donald] Trump’s decision on the INF Treaty "is another big mistake," he told a joint news conference with his visiting Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, TASS reported.
According to the Spanish top diplomat, this step may only fan "tension around the topic of nuclear weapons." Apart from that, in his words, this step may jeopardize "stability and security in the world."
Situation around INF Treaty
The INF, or The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, Treaty was signed between the former Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. In 1992, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the treaty was multilateralized with the former Soviet republics - Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine - as successors. The INF Treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers).
In the recent years, Washington has been accusing Russia of violating the treaty, while Moscow has been rejecting these allegations and advancing counter-claims concerning the implementation of the treaty by the US side.
US President Donald Trump said on October 20 that Washington would withdraw from the INF Treaty because Russia was violating the terms of the agreement. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov described this decision as a dangerous step. Washington’s decision came under criticism from Berlin and Beijing. However, London expressed support to the US’ stance and NATO placed responsibility for Trump’s decision on Russia which, it claims, may violate the treaty.