View Full Version : Russia May Pull Out Of Nuclear Arms Treaty

02-16-2007, 09:43 AM
Russia may pull out of nuclear arms treaty


By Reuters | February 16, 2007

MOSCOW -- Russia warned the United States yesterday it might pull out of a Cold War nuclear arms reduction treaty because of plans by Washington to build a missile shield in Eastern Europe.

General Yuri Baluyevsky, head of the Russian general staff, said Russia could unilaterally withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF treaty), Russian news agencies reported.

When asked whether Russia would pull out of the agreement, Baluyevsky, said: "We will see how our American partners are going to act," Interfax news agency reported.

"What they are doing at the moment -- creating a third positioning region for anti-missile defense in Europe -- is totally inexplicable," he said.

The INF treaty was one of the key arms control pacts of the Cold War. Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan signed the treaty in December 1987.

"There is a possibility of leaving the agreement if one of the sides presents convincing evidence," Baluyevsky said. "Many countries are developing and perfecting medium range rockets."

The United States has suggested the shield is needed to protect Europe from Iranian missiles but Russian officials have said Washington and its NATO allies are building the shield because of Russia.

"Our efforts to deploy missile defense systems around the world, and in this case we're working very closely with the Czech and the Polish governments to develop a system in Central Europe, is in no way directed at the Russian strategic forces," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington.

McCormack later said that Washington had reports that Moscow might pull out of the treaty.