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The end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), an opportunity for parliamentary diplomacy

Articles

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Abstract

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty or INF Treaty was signed on 8 December 1987 by the United States and the then Soviet Union. It entered into force on 1 June 1988 after ratification by the US Congress. The main purpose of the agreement was the disposal of land-to-air and cruise missiles with a travel capacity of between 500 km and 5.500 km, and set a deadline of 1 June 1991 for their disposal. It also prohibited the production or testro of INF systems, but did not prohibit cruise missiles launched from air or sea (Kühn’). PÉCZELI, 2017). A total of 2.692 short-range and medium range missiles (1.846 from the Soviet Union and 846 from the United States) were destroyed, and constituted the first disposal of an entire category of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and achieving targets in Western Europe, South-East Asia and Alaska and dispelled the imminent nuclear threat to Europe (Kühn, hereafter referred to as ‘Kühn’). PÉCZELI, 2017). This treaty was unique in time, as two super powers from the system agreed to limit its nuclear arsenals. But the very nature of this treaty led to its failure after thirty years, as on 3 August 2019, US President Donald Trump formally withdrew from the agreement. Institute for International Relations

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