Why US-Russia INF Treaty Dispute Goes ‘Against Europe’s Interests’

© Sputnik / Vladimir RodionovA bundle of three Soviet RSD-10 missiles prepared for demolition at the Kapustin Yar launch site. The missiles were destroyed in accordance with the INF Treaty.
A bundle of three Soviet RSD-10 missiles prepared for demolition at the Kapustin Yar launch site. The missiles were destroyed in accordance with the INF Treaty. - Sputnik International
London is concerned about the dispute between Russia and the United States over the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Military expert Boris Rozhin told Radio Sputnik that in London this concern is associated with a possible increase in its defense spending.

Russian Foreign Ministry building - Sputnik International
Russian Foreign Ministry Says Time to End Russia-US Dispute on INF Treaty
"It’s a US-Russia treaty so we won’t get involved with that but obviously we are concerned seeing what happens. It’s a US decision," the UK's head of nuclear operations for the Director General Nuclear, Commodore Paul Burke, told Sputnik.

The INF treaty prohibits the development, deployment and testing of ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles.

The United States and Russia have repeatedly accused each other of violating the INF treaty.

The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier stated that Moscow was seriously concerned about the US’s unreasonable data regarding the treaty as a pretext for a campaign about possible retaliatory measures against Russia.

An expert of the Center for Military and Political Journalism, Boris Rozhin, in an interview with Radio Sputnik said, “There is a growing threat of further escalation of relations between the US and Russia, and this, in turn, will affect the European Union and Britain which indirectly get affected by possible sanctions or the severance of arms limitation treaties.”

He further said that the Europeans are worried that they are trying to minimize the cost of defense, and the United States, on the contrary, constantly urges to increase these costs.

“If the agreement on medium-range and shorter-range missiles is broken or will be profaned, this will force Europeans to spend more on defense. This is not in the interest of Brussels or London,” Rozhin said.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 - Sputnik International
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“They would like to pursue a ‘cheaper’ defense policy, shifting responsibility on the NATO structures and US troops deployed in Europe,” the analyst concluded.

In June, citing several congressmen, Politico media outlet reported that the US presidential administration was considering the US Congress's proposal to withdraw from the INF Treaty. 

Russia’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control (DNAC) deputy director, Vladimir Leontiev, said there was a possibility that a US withdrawal from the INF Treaty would cause an arms race.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said on more than one occasion that Moscow is in full compliance with the INF treaty. Lavrov has also said that Russia has concerns over US compliance, or the lack thereof, with the INF treaty, and has repeatedly called on the United States to discuss in detail the most controversial points related to the treaty’s implementation.

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