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2018-11-30 | Science & Technology

Netherlands says it has proof of Russian violation of INF treaty


Russian military personnel load a missile onto the Iskander system in March in Astrakhan Province. The 9M729 missile (also known as the SSC-8), which is in violation of the INF treaty, is thought to be launched from a system similar to Iskander. [Russian Defence Ministry]

Russian military personnel load a missile onto the Iskander system in March in Astrakhan Province. The 9M729 missile (also known as the SSC-8), which is in violation of the INF treaty, is thought to be launched from a system similar to Iskander. [Russian Defence Ministry]

Caravanserai

AMSTERDAM -- The Dutch government is asserting that it has evidence that Russia is violating the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the pact in December 1987. It was considered a major step in ending the Cold War.

The Netherlands' Foreign and Defence ministries lodged the accusation in a Tuesday (November 27) document posted online by the lower chamber of the country's parliament.

"The Netherlands can independently confirm that Russia has developed and is currently introducing a ground-based cruise weapon," Foreign Minister Stef Blok and Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld wrote in the joint Dutch-language letter, according to a translation by NL Times. They credited their findings to "intelligence".

"If Russia continues to undermine the INF treaty in spite of everything, and the US has to draw definitive conclusions from this Russian behavior, the Netherlands and NATO allies must consider next steps - both in the military field and in the field of arms control. It is clear to the Netherlands that the responsibility for the then arising situation lies with Russia," the document continued.

The missile in question is the SSC-8 cruise missile, said the officials.

The SSC-8 violates the INF prohibition on development of missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500km, according to both the Dutch and US governments.

Washington has accused the Kremlin since 2013 of flouting the treaty. In October, US President Donald Trump stated America's readiness to abrogate the pact.

Concern among NATO members

The Dutch disclosure puts another NATO member on the United States' side in asserting that Russia has violated an agreement that led to the destruction of almost 2,700 missiles.

The violation "cannot remain unanswered", wrote the Dutch officials, according to the Moscow Times' translation. The Netherlands will "closely co-operate with the United States and other NATO allies on the future of the INF Treaty", they vowed in their letter.

Poland, also a NATO member, expressed its own concerns back in October.

"Russia is violating the provisions of the treaty by deploying new missiles," Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said in Brussels at the time, according to Defence24.pl. "If this treaty has ceased to function, because it's already been broken, the question does arise of whether it should still be observed."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said Russia was imperilling the agreement, which he has called a "cornerstone" of European security.

Russia denies violating the agreement, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has made no secret of his facetious approach towards nuclear security.

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11 Comments

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Comment bubble | 2018-12-16

[I'm] fed up by this America and its stooge Gayrope [a derogatory name of Europe used in Russian to depict European countries as 'the land of gays'], a ship or a plane should be bumped off and then [Russia] would. apologise saying that was a mistake and so on and so forth. Let them know Russia is not to be trifled with

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Comment bubble | 2018-12-10

Russia violates all the treaties more like a con artist than a country.

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Comment bubble | 2018-12-09

America and the West are attacking like vultures

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Comment bubble | 2018-12-07

Russians! This is yet another deception by the West. Support your president, he has a hard time fighting foreign enemies and domestic vultures.

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Comment bubble | 2018-12-03

If this situation is real then first of all they have to hold open negotiation instead of back biting. America will not become evil, even if I will say that America is evil. Netherlands must start open negotiations instead of getting alarmed. Besides Netherlands did not participate in this agreement.

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Comment bubble | 2018-12-01

Scrap this Russian 'Nord Stream 2' and you will give Russia something to cry about

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Comment bubble | 2018-12-01

Those Europeans and NATO are jerks. They are sneaking up to the Russian borders, interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, but they are scared of something like the Iskander missiles [9K720], that's how Russia holds you off, fellas. Without those missiles you would be all over the place like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria etc... So, that's the way to deal with you

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Comment bubble reply | 2018-12-17

That's right, I agree

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Comment bubble | 2018-12-01

According to my personal intel, the Dutch violated the International nuclear non-proliferation treaty ))))) The INF treaty allows Yanks to inspect any facility where their 'intelligence' points out the so-called 'violations'. Had they had real proof they would have presented it already. Russia also says that the 'Patriot' [systems], with minor adjustments, are capable of launching 'Tomahawks' and since they are deployed in Poland and Romania, the US is in violation of the INF treaty. Seriously: first off, the Dutch intelligence sector sounds like a good joke. Secondly, the Netherlands is not part of the treaty, so they can shut their pie hole up. Anyway, I appreciate you making me laugh )))

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Comment bubble | 2018-11-30

Russia has violated all the treaties. It should be punished.

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Comment bubble reply | 2018-12-09

The existence of NATO is the Advent of God's Kingdom on Earth

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