Anti-nuclear campaigners have responded to a new report by the Defence Committee into the breakdown of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. (1)
Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:
“This is a very disappointing and unbalanced report, which fails to address the new reality of a US President who is abandoning the international rules-based system.
“Incredibly, the report sweeps aside any US responsibility for the breakdown of the INF treaty, despite Trump initiating US withdrawal, stating in its summary that ‘if the Treaty fails, the sole responsibility for its failure will lie with Russia’.
“Shockingly, it goes on to describe those who take a more balanced approach as ‘gullible’.
“Trump’s withdrawal from the universally applauded Iran nuclear deal was perhaps the clearest sign of his dangerous new approach to international legal norms, but the report doesn’t deem it relevant to even mention it. There isn’t a single reference to Trump’s unpicking of the Iran deal on any of the report’s 47 pages.
“The report also fails to point out how the US withdrawal from the INF treaty will effectively legalise the activities for which Russia stands accused by President Trump, and removes the framework through which they could be investigated and resolved.
“The truth is, both Russia and the US had concerns about each other’s compliance with the treaty, but how will these concerns be addressed when the treaty is gone?
“Civil society organisations that are highlighting the new nuclear arms race that is emerging, and demanding steps to quell it, are far from ‘gullible and complicit’. It is essential their voices are heeded and that means the British government being prepared to condemn dangerous actions, even those carried out by the US president.
“The alternative is to sit back and observe the ratcheting up of nuclear tensions that is developing.”
- Russia responsible for end of INF Treaty says Defence Committee
Defence Committee Report – 4 April 2019