Since Russia has been violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty since at least 2014, and maybe as early as 2008. Russia’s controversial 9M729 missile system: A not-so-secret secret.
First, while the US Media is having a fit about what Trump is doing, NATO has determined that the Trump administration is correct.
Tuesday, the military alliance came out on Washington’s side and also accused Russia of breaching the INF treaty. The US has given Russia a 60-day ultimatum to comply with the treaty. Otherwise, the US will abandon the INF agreement for good.
The violation? The Novator 9M729 missile system (NATO designation = SSC-8).
In late July 2014, The New York Times first broke the news that Washington had a suspicion Russia might be violating the INF treaty. It said that the then president, Barack Obama, had sent a letter to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the matter. The paper claims Russia began testing the new missile system as early as 2008. The New York Times also reported the Obama administration had hoped to reach a compromise with the Russians by not publicly accusing them of violating the INF agreement. On Tuesday, the US State Department said five confidential talks between arms experts had been held since 2014 over the missile system. Yet it claims Russia had denied, concealed and spread lies about the new missile.
So by not confronting Russia in 2014, or earlier when the missile started testing, did the Obama administration advance the cause of peace, or just keep an inconvenient story out of the news as much as possible.
Russia has kept pretty tight security in place. An analyst with the Brookings Institution estimated the range at 2000 kilometers.