The Treaty on the Elimination of Medium and Short Range Missiles ceases to exist. Now it is difficult to say that the agreement will survive the six-month period that is necessary for the termination procedure. As you know, Washington has already invested in the production of banned missiles, and it is unlikely the United States will throw money to the wind. Nevertheless, the decision was made more than one day, and the EU had all the resources to keep the treaty so important for European security.
No matter what the US says about the Russian missile 9M729, whatever suspicions and hypotheses they put forward, we must understand that the issue of non-compliance with the agreement was raised in the distant 2009. That 44th US President Barack Obama decided on a «new approach» to the American system missile defense in Europe. His goal was to protect against Iranian missiles, for which the Aegis missile defense systems were deployed in Poland and Romania. Obama called this approach «more modern», but it was he who initiated the global security crisis.
From the point of view of Russia, Washington really violated the INF Treaty, deploying missile defense launchers in Europe that can be used to launch cruise missiles, or more precisely target missiles similar in performance to medium-range and short-range missiles. Even then, the agreement was on the verge of termination.
But what was Europe doing at this time? On the territory of the EU, the Americans deployed weapons that jeopardized all European security. The reaction of Brussels was zero. Yes, NATO membership implies a partnership, but should it really lead to suicidal policies? Even the United States now recognize the possibility of refitting defense systems in the offensive, which allowed to strike at Russian territory.
Ten years ago, nothing prevented Moscow from doing what Washington did now. I think it is difficult to deny that at that time the treaty was saved only thanks to Russia’s unwillingness to take a destructive position.
As time went on, the situation was tense, and in 2014 the United States already accused Russia of violating the treaty. On August 2, 2017, the possibility of unilateral termination of the Treaty was introduced in the US Congress. It is hard to believe that Washington did not understand what consequences such a step would entail. Moreover, the prospects for the European Union were also to be evaluated, but there they did not just choose to go with the flow, but even indulged Washington. Five years have passed since the first accusation against Russia, and much could have been done to preserve the agreement, but now it has been lost.
Yes, the treaty was really not beneficial to the United States, but it was necessary for Europe, which again did nothing for the safety of the population. All NATO consultations were limited only to criticism of Moscow. Why didn’t European countries oppose termination? They are members of the alliance! Or is it not so? We are so accustomed to agree with Washington in everything that we did not notice how our right to security was taken away. It was necessary only to show a little independence. Where were those who claimed independent Europe? Slavery to the United States is, after all, too expensive.
Of course, NATO promises that they will protect the European Union. No wonder that there are forced to pay huge contributions. The only problem is that in order to protect Europe, it is now necessary to turn it into a huge proving ground for US missile defense systems. But one should not expect that this time Russia will leave such a step without an answer.