U.S. suspension of 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and Russian rhetoric regarding possible deployments of new weapons marked further deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations and raised concerns about future of arms control. U.S. 1 Feb said it was suspending its obligations under INF starting 2 Feb, giving Russia six months to return to “real and verifiable” compliance before U.S. ultimate withdrawal from INF. Washington earlier announced plans of withdrawal in Oct 2018, arguing Russia has been developing 9M729 missile system in violation of INF, and amid years of mutual accusations of non-compliance. President Putin 2 Feb announced Moscow would follow suit and in his 20 Feb state of the nation address promised deployment of new and powerful missiles targeting U.S. and European countries, although only in response to any U.S. deployments of intermediate-range missiles on European continent; NATO accused Russia of “unacceptable” threat and called on Russia for full compliance.
There is no doubt that Russia is much more actively engaged on African issues in the Security Council than was the case five years or 10 years ago.
Torn between Russia’s growing influence and increasing frictions in a historic alliance with the U.S., European states face new challenges to their security architecture. Olga Oliker calls Europe to embrace a dialogue on security and threats in the neighbourhood to build sustainable peace all across the region.
Originally published in EUREN Brief