Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

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Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987 (INF) was the first Nuclear Weapons agreement requiring the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) to reduce, rather than merely limit, their arsenals of nuclear weapons. Signed by President ronald reagan, of the United States, and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, of the U.S.S.R., on December 8, 1987, the INF Treaty eliminated all land-based nuclear missiles with ranges of between 300 and 3,400 miles. The U.S. Senate quickly ratified the treaty in 1988 by a vote of 93–5.

The INF Treaty marked an historic shift in superpower relations and was the first super-power arms control treaty since 1979. It required the removal of 1,752 Soviet and 859 U.S. short- and intermediate-range missiles, most of which were located in Europe. It was the second superpower agreement to ban an entire class of weapons, the first being the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. The INF Treaty also contained unprecedented verification procedures, including mandatory exchanges of relevant missile data, on-site inspections, and satellite surveillance.

Soviet concessions in the INF negotiations grew out of Gorbachev's efforts to limit military competition between the United States and the U.S.S.R. The new Soviet willingness to make arms-control concessions was first evident in the 1986 Stockholm Accord, which established various confidence- and security-building measures between the superpowers and their allied countries, including on-site inspections and advance warning of military movements. In 1988, a year after signing the INF, Gorbachev continued his ambitious program of military cuts by announcing a unilateral reduction of 500,000 troops, including the removal of 50,000 troops and 5,000 tanks from eastern Europe. These developments met with a positive response from the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, and created an atmosphere that would be conducive to future arms accords, including the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty of 1990 and the strategic arms reduction treaties of 1991 and 1993.

Several successor states to the Soviet Union, including Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, continue to implement the treaty. Other European nations, including Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia, voluntarily destroyed their medium-range missiles in the 1990s. The United States also persuaded Bulgaria to destroy its missiles in 2002. The right of parties to the treaty to conduct on-site inspections expired on May 31, 2001. However, parties still may conduct satellite surveillance to ensure that member states comply with the treaty. The treaty established the Special Verification Commission to implement the treaty, and the commission continues to meet regularly.

Further readings

Falkenrath, Richard A. 1995. Shaping Europe's Military Order: The Origins and Consequences of the CFE Treaty. Cambridge, Mass.: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.

Sheehan, Michael. 1988. Arms Control: Theory and Practice. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.

Wirth, Timothy E. 1988. Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Conventional Balance in Europe. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.


Arms Control and Disarmament; Cold War; Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.

References in periodicals archive ?
Accusing Washington of using "megaphone diplomacy", it denied Russia had violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) agreed in 1987 by the United States and the Soviet Union on eliminating nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500-5,500 km (310-3,417 miles).
Russia has also been violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by testing a new cruise missile, and Washington and Moscow have embarked on costly programmes to modernise their nuclear stockpiles.
He then emphasized deep concerns regarding Russiaآ's "clear violation" of obligations under Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
According to Washington, Moscow breached the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
A day after it alleged Russia to have violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty or INF, the United States is thinking of stationing its nuclear cruise missiles in Europe in anticipation of the other country's war tactics.
The two sides were ready to begin operations by April 1988, just in time for implementation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty a few months later.
Russia is under the nerves of the United States again, this time for allegedly violating Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF.
In recent years, the United States and the countries of the former Soviet Union have destroyed more than 2,500 intermediate-range missiles, thus eliminating an entire class of weapons systems through the implementation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Parker Pen has been involved with these historic events since 1987, when President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev used Sterling Silver Parker 75 pens to sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Parts of the fence are brought down and hundreds of arrests are made1987: US president Ronald Reagan and USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev sign the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty to reduce weaponryAugust 1989: The first cruise missile leaves Greenham CommonMarch 1991: US completes removal of all Greenham Common Cruise missilesSeptember 1992: American air force leaves the base
In addition, the practical military significance of Russian repudiation of these treaties is limited, unless Moscow takes the provocative but unlikely step of deploying new intermediate-range nuclear missiles in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which would undermine relations with Europe.
If today's message is ignored, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty will be next," Gleb Pavlovsky, a Kremlin political consultant, said in an interview with Interfax.

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