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Germany, EU ‘Aghast’ as U.S. Withdraws from Missile Treaty with Russia

Germany, EU ‘Aghast’ as U.S. Withdraws from Missile Treaty with Russia

Germany’s Merkel called for intensifying negotiations with Moscow

The Trump administration’s decision to suspend the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russian triggered sharp responses from Germany and the European Union. “Europeans aghast as end to INF treaty looms,” the German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported, adding that the “EU leaders are concerned that the US withdrawal from the INF treaty could spark a new arms race.”

The White House announced Friday that the United States was suspending the nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, accusing Moscow of developing a new long-range missile system, known as ‘9M729,’ in violation of the terms of the 1987 U.S.-Soviet agreement. The move gives Russia six months to destroy the ballistic missile system in question or face termination of the treaty. The U.S. announcement came after Moscow unveiled the 9M729 nuclear-capable missile system that can reach major European cities.

“One side has not been adhering to it. We have, but one side hasn’t. So unless they’re going to adhere, we shouldn’t be the only one,” President said citing Russian violations. “We can’t be put at the disadvantage of going by a treaty limiting what we do when somebody else doesn’t go by that treaty,” adding that his administration “will move forward with developing our own military response options and will work with NATO and our other allies and partners to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct.”

Ahead of the U.S. announcement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for intensifying negotiations with Moscow. “If it does come to a cancellation today, we will do everything possible to use the six-month window to hold further talks,” she said. “It is clear to us that Russia has violated this treaty.”

“The Cold War is history,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told a group of EU ministers in Romania. “Solutions from that era are totally unsuited to today’s challenges.” He, also acknowledged Russian culpability, adding that “a treaty between two state, which is violated by one party, is practically annulled. Unfortunately, the Russian side is not ready to bring transparency and restore compliance of the treaty.”

“This belongs to a faraway history,” the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini said echoing her German counterpart. “We definitely don’t want to even consider the possibility of going backwards along this path.”

The former German Vice-Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, called upon the EU to pressure the U.S. to open up its nuclear installations to Russian inspectors. “EU must urge the US to allows its nuclear arsenal to be inspected” by the Russians “as a sign of goodwill to convince Russia to follow suit,” German news outlets quoted him saying.

“The end of the INF treaty will have ground shattering impact on Europe, as it would unexpectedly open up a debate over the possible nuclear buildup in Europe,” the German weekly Der Spiegel commented.

The U.S. decision comes at an inopportune time for the EU. The move will “polarize Europe yet again” and “in long-run weaken” the bloc, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, a close confidant of the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, told German newspaper Aachener Nachrichten. “At the end of the day, one must admit that the EU is the biggest peace project of the twentieth century. It is our duty to ensure that this project carries on, and survives, in the twenty-first century.”

The U.S. decision has rattled the European peaceniks too. “Germany’s peace activists are deeply concerned,” Deutsche Welle wrote quoting the left-wing activists who regularly stage protests outside U.S. military installations in Germany.

The ‘peace project’ that EU elites keep on boasting about is secured by the sacrifice of the U.S armed forces and bankrolled by the long-suffering U.S. taxpayer. Leading European economies, such as Germany and France, can afford to service their bloated welfare systems thanks to the protective umbrella extended by Washington. Germany and many European NATO members have been missing their defense spending targets for years. Trump’s repeated demands for meeting military spending goals have been met with scorn and ridicule from EU politicians and mainstream media.

As a new official report reveals, the German army, or the Bundeswehr, is in a state of utter disrepair. The army can’t find operational helicopters for troop transports and the soldiers on foreign missions don’t have basic gear such as body armor and overalls, the German parliament’s annual defense report said. The inspection found that only “50 percent of the Bundeswehr’s tanks, ships and aircraft were available at any one time, either for training or operational purposes.”

The weakening of the German army comes at a times when Russia is tipping the balance by developing new tactical abilities and putting boots on foreign grounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. By neglecting their commitment to NATO, German and other EU members are very much culpable in emboldening Moscow.

President Trump on U.S. withdrawal from nuclear arms control treaty with Russia

[Cover image via YouTube]


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JusticeDelivered | February 2, 2019 at 4:21 pm

Russia really cannot afford an arms race.

    healthguyfsu in reply to JusticeDelivered. | February 2, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Neither can Germany…they just committed to coal free goals and would need a lot of money and energy to rebuild their military. That’s why they are so flustered.

    I still can’t get over the arrogance. Europe freeloads off US military spending then has the audacity to scorn us when we point out their mooching.

US defense arrangements are with NATO. What the EU thinks about any of it is mere noise.

Dumb asses. Those Intermediate Range nuclear missiles will be aimed at the EU. The Europeans really are suicidal.

the europeans are unlikely to START a war with russia–russian intermediate range nukes are intended to intimidate the europeans, to make them contemplate potential annihilation if they try and interfere with russian adventures

If there is an arms race, the Russians caused it by refusing to abide by the treaty. The US did not cause it by stating that they will be no longer bound by restrictions the Russians are plainly ignoring. So they are whining to the wrong country.

If they disagree, they should seek safety and solace in an “alliance” with Vladimir Putin and mother Russia. And see where that gets them.

Since the EU is contemplating its own army, let it contemplate its own missile response. Build their own.

What they are really aghast at is needing to fork over beaucoup euros to counter Russian threats because Uncle Sam yanked them away from the U.S. taxpayers’ sugar tit.

What I get from this is that the EU people know Russia has been violating the treaty but are “aghast” that anyone would actually respond to it.

It is impossible to overstate the stupidity of their response.

    puhiawa in reply to irv. | February 2, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Correct. Russia has released no less than 4 films that expose weapon systems they claim are operational that directly are prohibited by this treaty.

Gee, with the US out of the treaty, the Russians could… do exactly what they’ve been doing for the last decade or two. Oh, my.

The former German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

Trump was also the final trigger for his book, which he wants to talk about this evening in Dusseldorf before Handelsblatt readers. Gabriel writes about America as “a rogue superpower”, the alienation of Russia from the West, the Chinese claim to power.

Gabriel looks at Trump with a mixture of fascination and fright. “There goes one through everything that seemed right so far,” says the 59-year-old. “Against all theories, he brutally enforces what he said before the election.”

    gospace in reply to Tiki. | February 2, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    “Against all theories, he brutally enforces what he said before the election.”

    A politician who keeps his promises is apparently unusual everywhere, not just here, unusual to the point that it’s shocking.

    President Donald John Trump isn’t a politician. He’s a businessman who ran for and won the presidency. Something I recall him saying he would never do unless he knew he could win… He kept that promise too. I haven’t read everything the Donald has written. I haven’t looked at his speeches over the years. One pundit has, I forget who and don’t have the link, and he said if you comb through everything he ever said in public over the years he’s been in the public eye- absolutely nothing he is doing as POTUS should surprise or shock you. I voted for him because he wasn’t Hillary, not that that mattered in NY. He’s been doing an outstanding job of not being Hillary, and I’ll vote for his reelection because he’s Trump.

The very countries involved in WWII would actually resort to the Neville Chamberlain appeasement policy is just inconceivable. I don’t know if it’s human complacency or laziness, but I guess politicians’ favorite way of problem solving is to kick the bucket down the road until that inevitable time when that the bucket becomes immovable.

Russia has been skirting violation of the INF treaty by limiting the amount of solid fuel that is installed in the 9M728 and 9M729 missiles at the factory. This limits the maximum range of the missiles to 500 km, to satisfy the terms of the treaty. However, more fuel can be added either at the factory or in the field, increasing the range beyond that allowable under the treaty. It is sort of like putting a plug in a six shot shotgun magazine to limit it to three shots so it can be used legally to hunt game.

The US withdrawal from the treaty does not directly benefit the US, in terms of relations with Russia. It does, however, allow the US to deploy short and medium range, land-based missile systems to oppose the Chinese and North Koreans. Which is of strategic benefit to the US. It also benefits Europe, as it allows the US to deploy short and medium range nuclear capable missiles in Europe. This gives the Europeans an effective deterrent to Russia threats to use similar missiles.

“EU must urge the US to allows its nuclear arsenal to be inspected” by the Russians “as a sign of goodwill to convince Russia to follow suit,”


Pull our troops from Germany. Let them cry some more.

I’m completely out of give-a-damns.

Question. The INF Treaty was signed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Not an entity called Russia. 15 or so independent nations came out of the breakup of the USSR. Are they all bound by treaties that a now non-existent government signed? Or just Russia? Or some combination? Are they not at all bound by treaties that their government didn’t sign? And who is entitled to make that decision? Us? The U.N? (Stop laughing!)The World Court? Or them?

Has Russia signed the INF since the USSR broke up? I wan’t able to find that.

So it’s clear to even Angela Merkel that Russia is in violation of the treaty? That puts all this being “aghast” in some context.

I wonder if we are still going to be committed to defending the NATO countries from Russia after they have all turned into Islamic “Republics”.

    gospace in reply to Toad-O. | February 2, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    After they turn into islamic “republics” I’d say let Russia have them. If Russia still want them after that.

JustShootMeNow | February 2, 2019 at 11:25 pm

If Germany and the EU are Aghast, then I’m Ecstatic

caseoftheblues | February 3, 2019 at 10:00 am

Every decision, law and regulation the EU makes seems to have the single goal of destroying the member states….why the don’t just ask Russia or China to Nuke them and just get it over is beyond me…