World More Vulnerable to US-Russia Nuclear War after INF Death: UK Pundit
- August, 05, 2019 - 17:24
- Politics news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A political analyst based in London deplored Washington’s explanation for leaving the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Moscow as “a falsehood” and said the death of the treaty has made the world “more vulnerable” to a nuclear war between US and Russia.
“With the death of the INF Treaty, the world has become all the more vulnerable to a nuclear exchange between America and Russia,” Marcus Papadopoulos said in an interview with Tasnim.
“And it is the US' insatiable lust for ever greater influence and power on the international stage that is responsible for having now increased the chances of a global thermonuclear war,” he added.
Papadopoulos is a political expert and the publisher and editor of Politics First, a non-partisan publication for the UK Parliament. He earned his MA in Modern History and his Ph.D. in Russian history from Royal Holloway, University of London. His comments and interviews have appeared in various news outlets, including RT, Al Jazeera, Rossiya 24, TASS and RIA Novosti.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: The US on Friday formally withdrew from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia. Washington said last year it would withdraw from the INF, accusing Russia of failing to comply with it. Moscow denies it has violated the treaty and says the Trump administration is pulling out because it wants to pursue a new arms race. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed concerns over the expiration of the INF, saying, “The world will lose an invaluable brake on nuclear war”. “This will likely heighten, not reduce, the threat posed by ballistic missiles,” he said. What is your assessment of the developments? What do you think about the US claims?
Papadopoulos: The American Government's explanation for withdrawing itself from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty is a falsehood. Because it was during the tenure of George W. Bush that the INF Treaty was severely weakened and, in effect, scuppered by the US. First, Washington withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, with Russia, in 2002. And second, the American withdrawal from the ABM Treaty paved the way for the Americans to proceed in the construction of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, specifically in Poland and in Romania, as part of the US' Missile Defense Agency, and which is now in operation. Those two decisions by America delivered a fatal blow to the INF Treaty. So the question is why did the Americans kill the INF Treaty, which had constituted a cornerstone in arms control for 32 years? Well, the reason is that Washington, conscious and anxious in the 1990s that Russia could one day resurrect its superpower status, decided to press ahead with creating and installing a missile defense shield on the western borders of the Russian Federation, in a bid to neutralize the Russian strategic nuclear deterrent and thereby derail any attempt by the Kremlin to restore its Soviet-era influence and power. However, what prevented the Americans from carrying out their objective was the INF Treaty hence this treaty had to be torpedoed by the US, which was achieved by Washington's withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and the American construction of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.
Tasnim: The US president has said he wants a new nuclear pact to be signed by both Russia and China. Do you think that countries like China would join the nuclear treaty that Trump is seeking to reach?
Papadopoulos: Donald Trump's pledge is merely an attempt to deflect attention away from the sheer magnitude of America's decision to withdraw from, and thereby kill, the INF Treaty. As a result of the death of the INF Treaty, and how America has installed a missile defense system in Eastern Europe and also in the Far East, in South Korea, which is not only aimed at, again, neutralizing the Russian strategic nuclear deterrent but also China's nuclear arsenal, neither Moscow nor Beijing will be hoodwinked by Trump's insincere offer of concluding a new nuclear pact with them. For the Russian Federation, which is the predominant nuclear power in the world, the quest will be to ensure that the American missile defense system in Poland and in Romania, which could also be made into an offensive system, can never upset the existing nuclear parity between itself and America because, otherwise, Russia would be at the mercy of a US which is determined to subjugate the Russian lands.
Tasnim: With the expiration of the treaty, do you not think that the world order would be disrupted? In that case, who would be to blame?
Papadopoulos: With the death of the INF Treaty, the world has become all the more vulnerable to a nuclear exchange between America and Russia. The potential for a nuclear arms race is, consequently, high, though one could argue that such a race is already underway between Washington and Moscow, although nowhere near to the scale of the arms race as seen during the Cold War. And it is the US' insatiable lust for ever greater influence and power on the international stage that is responsible for having now increased the chances of a global thermonuclear war.