President of Russia Vladimir Putin has signed a new law that axes Moscow’s participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed between the US and Russia in 1987 to avoid a repeat of incidents such as the ‘Cuban Missile Scare’.
The law, which was backed by parliament was published on the government portal for legal information on July 3, Repors Radio Free Europe.
In February, the United States suspended its participation in the 1987 INF Treaty, with Washington and its allies accusing Russia of deploying a missile system that violates the pact.
Russia, which denies the allegation, later followed suit. Moscow accuses the United States of breaking the accord itself, a claim rejected by Washington.
The INF treaty bans the usage of missiles with short and intermediate ranges, ie between 500- 5,500 km (310-3,420 miles). The two countries, in 1962, were on the brink of a nuclear war when Moscow responded to a US missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba. To avoid such an event again, the INF pact was signed between the Soviet Union and the US on December 8, 1987. It took effect on June 1, 1988, just before the Cold War ended in 1991.
Last month, Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, hinted at the potential signing of a trilateral nuclear deal between the US, Russia and China. The 2011 accord, or the New START treaty, is the only US-Russia arms control pact limiting deployed strategic nuclear weapons. It will expire in February 2021 but can be extended for five years if both parties agree.