Russia has formally pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) after previously signalling that it would take this historic step after the White House announced last month that the US would suspend all obligations under the treaty. President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday formally enacting and finalizing Russia’s suspension of the INF Treaty, which was set to expire in less than six months and subject of heightened tensions after both sides have repeatedly accused the other of having been in violation of its terms for years.
The success of the Reagan-era agreement was felt primarily in that it resulted in the enduring demilitarization on the European continent in the final years of the Cold War. But Russia now worries Washington could station ballistic missiles in Europe now that the deal has collapsed. According the text of the new decree published by the Kremlin on Monday, the INF could potentially be revived in Russia’s eyes but only if the US “eliminates its earlier violations of its obligations” under the deal….