The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has called on the UK government to play its part in securing the future of a crucial arms control agreement, which is 60 days away from being torn up following an announcement by the US government. President Trump had already announced that he intended to withdraw the US from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia. This is a vital nuclear treaty which has ensured the destruction of nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles and has played a crucial role in ensuring that US missiles are not situated in Europe.
Sara Medi Jones, CND acting general secretary, said:
“This ultimatum by Trump is unhelpful, and frankly reckless. While we call on both Russia and the US to fully comply with the terms of the INF, threatening to withdraw from the treaty in two months rather than proposing negotiations to resolve the outstanding issues is a risky decision.
“Tearing up the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty would mark the end of the restraints on nuclear arsenals achieved in the 1980s. The danger is that we will see spiralling increases on a Cold War scale.
“Britain has an important role to play in this crisis. As a member of NATO – the alliance which has now formally accused Russia of breaching the treaty – it should be encouraging a diplomatic solution to the crisis, rather than fanning the flames that can lead to nuclear war. That is why CND is visiting the Foreign Office tomorrow morning (Wednesday, December 5th) to hand in thousands of letters addressed to the Foreign Secretary from our supporters, calling on the government to save the INF. Standing by and allowing crucial nuclear arms control agreements to be torn up places the whole world in great danger.
“The INF Treaty was in large part a result of massive international protest against nuclear escalation in the 1980s, including CND protests against cruise missiles which mobilised hundreds of thousands of people. The iconic Greenham peace camp was part of that wave of protest. We stand resolutely against this return to the nuclear escalation of the Cold War and we call on all peoples once again to reject these moves.”