Treaty on Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) speaks about total liquidation of intermediate-range nuclear missiles. It was sign on 8th December 1987 in Washington between US and USSR and aimed to completely liquidate IRMB and MRBM of both sides. The treaty also prohibits its production, storage and use.
“The missiles included in the treaty were defined as those with the range between 500 and 5500 km”, says Kamil Basaj from Info Ops Polska Foundation. “One of the objectives of the treaty was to limit the risk of Russia having the nuclear missiles that have all Europe in their range. In 1991, four years after the treaty, the commissary closing of the liquidation process of the arsenal of all signatories, including Russia, had place.”
However, Russia secretly keep on operating in order to produce and possess forbidden missile system.
“Already in 2013 the US administration expressed publicly its doubts if Russian really fulfilled the treaty and if they currently had missiles violating the INF treaty”, notices Basaj. “They meant the missile SSC-8, that is able to carry a load in the range of 500 to 5500 km, being in the range prohibited by the treaty. In 2016 in Warsaw during the NATO summit, once again the alliance expressed its warning for Russia because of it not fulfilling the agreement. In fact, Russia already was working on the missile and NATO states intelligence knew that Russia did not respect the treaty. In 2017 Russian openly admitted that they had SSC-8 missile, even though they said that it did not violate the INF treaty. It was clear that Russia violated the agreement. Because of that, in 2019, US send a warning that they were going to renounce the duty of respecting the INF treaty.”
Russian propaganda launched a widely spread disinformation campaign, aimed to cover the fact that it was Russia who violated the treaty, not the US. The campaign is currently being executed. The expert of Info Ops Polska Foundation explains how:
“In order to do this many form of communicating are employed – starting with the promotion of information that US and NATO work on secret projects on building such types of armaments. In this narrative Russia is shown as a country besieged by NATO alliance. Other propaganda argument is detailed proving that it was US not Russia who violated the treaty. In order to do this, Kremlin falsify information about the missiles, suggesting that Russian missiles do not violate the treaty, but they are modified missiles of the system Iskander-M. At the same time the narratives about secret US production of prohibited arms are being spread. In manipulative messages there is a lot of precise information, therefore it is important to get the information only from reliable sources, especially from the experts. It is difficult for an amateur to fin the truth in this narrative because Russians currently manipulate information about the power of the missiles, navigation system issues, directing system in order to cover the fact of accommodating one of the missiles from Iskander-M system to missiles prohibited by the INF treaty”, underlines Basaj.