Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks on Russia’s nuclear arsenal appear to be partly in response to a U.S. claim Russia has violated a 1987 nuclear missile treaty.
“It’s best not to mess with us,” Putin said at a youth camp near Moscow.
On August 1, prior to the unverified claim Russia has invaded Ukraine, Obama mentioned the alleged treaty violation during a telephone call between to the two leaders.
The U.S. claims Russia tested a cruise missile prohibited under the treaty signed by President Reagan and General Secretary of the Soviet Union Gorbachev on December 8, 1987.
The treaty eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges.
During coverage of the alleged treaty violation, the establishment media neglected to mention that the United States has violated and abrogated a number of international treaties, including the landmark 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty.
The U.S. considered the ABM treaty a “Cold War relic.”
In 2002 then president George W. Bush announced the treaty is “now behind us” and declared his commitment to deploy missile defenses “as soon as possible.”
In 2007, then Russian Prime Minister Putin said the so-called NATO missile “defense shield” would lead to a new arms race and enhance the probability of mutual destruction.
Poland, the Czech Republic, and Romania have indicated they would host anti-missile systems, but in 2009 Obama said a defense against short- and medium-range missiles using AEGIS warships would be deployed instead.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, contender Mitt Romney said Obama’s move represented a “gift to Russia,” a remark reflecting the attitude of Republicans and many in the establishment toward nuclear deescalation.
In addition to placing anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe, Russia is concerned about the United States using the situation in Ukraine as a pretext to introduce troops near its border.
Since the beginning of the year, the U.S. has deployed hundreds of troops in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
U.S. Violates Treaties with Russia
According to the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy, the United States routinely violates international treaties.
“The United States has violated, compromised or acted to undermine in some crucial way every treaty that we have studied in detail,” said Nicole Deller, principal editor and co-author of a report produced by the two organizations.
In addition to the ABM treaty, the U.S. has violated the 1970 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.
The Bush administration undercut the NPT when it insisted reductions in strategic weapons previously agreed upon with Russia can be reversed.
The U.S. reached this conclusion after a Nuclear Posture Review expanded “options for using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.”