The Russian President proposed again introducing a moratorium on medium-range ground-based missiles deployment in Europe. Berlin shares NATO’s assessment, according to which Putin’s INFT initiatives are not credible.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called on NATO countries to abandon ground-based intermediate and shorter-range missiles deployment in Europe. The head of Kremlin proposed introducing a moratorium on such types of weapons deployment a year ago, the dpa agency noted. Russia reaffirmed its readiness for the above and called on NATO countries to consider the possibility of a retaliatory moratorium, Putin said on Monday, October 26, in Moscow. At the same time, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov called Putin’s current proposal being “a new initiative of the president.”
Putin pointed to “unrelenting tension along the Russia-NATO line” in the context of the INF Treaty termination, which poses a “threat to European security.” Under these conditions, “vigorous efforts are needed to reduce the trust deficit,” according to Monday’s Kremlin’s press service statement. The moratorium could reduce the risks “stemming from misunderstandings and disagreements in the field of missile weapons.”
Particularly, Russia demands a guarantee that Aegis Ashore complexes with Mk-41 launchers will not be deployed at NATO and US bases in Europe. In response, Russia promises not to deploy 9M729 missiles in the European part of the country, including the Kaliningrad region. To remove mutual concerns, Putin proposed mutual verification measures, the purpose of which “would be to confirm the absence of ground-based INF Treaty on the targets covered by the agreements, as well as weapons, on the characteristics and classification of which the parties could not agree on (the Russian 9M729 missile).”
Germany does not trust Putin’s initiative
On Monday the German Foreign Ministry commented on Putin’s new proposals. “We are familiar with the Russian president statement. This is not something new to us: Russia has already announced such a moratorium several times in the past. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg spoke about last year,” German Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrea Sasse said. According to, since Russia itself withdrew from the INF Treaty, the NATO Secretary General said that the moratorium or Russia’s refusal to deploy missiles does not inspire confidence. “We share this assessment,” Sasse told reporters in Berlin.
United States and Russia withdrawal from the INF Treaty
The United States and Russia completed withdrawing from the INF Treaty in August 2019. The reason for agreement termination was Russia developing the 9M729 missile (SSC-8 according to the classification of the North Atlantic Alliance), capable of flying more than 500 kilometers. Washington and the North Atlantic Alliance believe that Moscow has thereby violated the treaty. Russia recognizes the missile existence but claims it does not violate the INF Treaty.
This agreement was signed in 1987 by the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Mikhail Gorbachev and the US President Ronald Reagan. Intermediate and shorter-range missiles pose the greatest threat to the world, since they are capable of reaching a target within a few minutes and leave the enemy no chance to prepare for a strike and repel it.
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