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    'Doomsday Clock is Ticking': Prof. Warns About Implications of US' INF Pull-Out

    © Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich
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    The US officially suspended its participation in the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on 2 February 2019. Speaking to Sputnik, American academic Majia H. Nadesan expressed concern over the dissolution of arms control agreements by Washington, as well as the bellicose rhetoric and intensification of hybrid and information warfare.

    "The doomsday clock is ticking, but it appears that we are going to waste what time we have left ascertaining our mutual destruction," warned Majia H. Nadesan, a professor of communication in the School of Social and Behavioural Sciences in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University, while commenting on the US' withdrawal from the INF Treaty.

    On 2 February 2019, the US State Department announced Washington's pull-out from the 1987 INF Treaty under the pretext of Russia's 9M729 missile (NATO codename SSC-8) violating the pact.

    "[Russia] remains in material breach of its obligations not to produce, possess, or flight-test a ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile system with a range between 500 [311 miles] and 5,500 kilometres", the US State Department said in a statement.

    Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations and held an official presentation of the rocket for US, EU and NATO representatives on 23 January 2019. However, the bodies snubbed the event.

    "The New Cold War, whose contours are being chiselled in bellicose rhetoric, the dissolution of arms control agreements, and intensification of hybrid and information warfare, serves no interests beyond short term economic profiteering  by the international 'merchants of death' and acquisitive industries in oil and energy [especially] that benefit from hostile and mercantile relationships among states," Nadesan told Sputnik.

    The academic emphasised that she doesn't understand "the logic of annihilation that is governing the US and other nations' escalation of conflict in our time of collective need".

    She bemoaned the fact that while "climate change, resource depletion, environmental degradation, and the immediate needs of people [have been] displaced by these forces", "pointless wars" have been prioritised.

    "We see closing diplomatic doors and re-invigorated arms races capable of delivering weapons old and new in design that present truly existential risks," Nadesan highlighted.

    According to the professor, "there are no innocent powers, no nations free of subterfuge", however, "the US as the former reigning hegemon has betrayed the trust of people everywhere when pretending to protect democracy and security while unravelling fragile international alliances and ignoring the growing eco and humanitarian crises facing us all".

    "Trust, peace and cooperation are the only way we will survive. People everywhere need to stand up for these values and demand that their leaders embrace them", she believes.

    In October 2018, Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the agreement, while in December Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that Russia had just two months to comply with the treaty's requirements, referring to the 9M729 rocket.

    The US secretary of state specified that it would take six months for Washington to withdraw from the agreement, adding that during these six months the US would not test or deploy missiles that would violate the 1987 pact.

    In response, Russia unveiled technical specifications of the rocket on 23 January, showing the missile system to be fully compliant with the treaty's provisions — in particular, the 9M729's range does exceed 480 kilometres.

    ​Nevertheless, on 1 February NATO issued a statement on Russia's failure to comply with the INF agreement, which was followed by the US State Department's official pull-out announcement.

    In response, on 2 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow would suspend its participation in the treaty.

    The same day, the Russian Ministry of Defence released satellite images of Raytheon Corporation's plant taken on 3 December 2018, saying that at that time the US contractor had been preparing for the production of missiles prohibited under the INF deal.

    Commenting on Washington's move, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow would respond to military threats related to the US pull-out "by military-technical means", adding that Russia is "not seeking an arms race, which was present at the time of the Cold War, the president spoke very clearly about this."

    "When they [White House authorities] come to understanding their responsibility for the problems that are created by the US policy, […] the doors are open, we will talk. On an equal footing, on the basis of taking into account each other's interests, legitimate interests, not fictional," Lavrov underscored.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    treaty, arms race, 9M729 missile system, INF Treaty, NATO, Russian Ministry of Defense, Raytheon, Pentagon, Mike Pompeo, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Sergei Lavrov, Europe, United States, Russia
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