MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A present row between the United States and Russia over who has breached the 1987 INF Treaty can be resolved if both nations exercise political will, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has told Sputnik.
“I think the matter is rooted in the general state of the US-Russian relations,” Gorbachev, who signed the treaty with then US President Ronald Reagan, said. “I am confident that the issue of [arms] control can be resolved if there is goodwill. There are clearly technical and political aspects to this problem, and it is politics that has the final say,” Gorbachev stressed.
In September, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Russia of violating the treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry said US accusations were groundless, adding Washington did not present any evidence to support its claims.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in October that, before the INF deal, US missile capabilities had already included air- and sea-launched missiles, while the Soviet Union had not developed such weapons. As the INF banned land-based missile launchers, the disarmament was done unilaterally by the Soviet Union.
In turn, Russia created its own air- and sea-launched missiles to catch up with the US missile capabilities, the president said. Moscow has complied with and will comply with all the terms of earlier pacts until its partners do, Vladimir Putin added.