"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.
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.
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.
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.
For 5+ years we pressed #Russia to comply with the #INFTreaty. Russia remains in material breach, and is fielding illegal missiles. Time has run out. Tomorrow, the United States will suspend its INF obligations and notify all Parties of U.S. intent to withdraw in six months. pic.twitter.com/qDLbKyGYF5— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 1, 2019
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.
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.