Missile Tests May Violate Russian Treaty

Vladimir Putin has commenced missile tests in Russia, which appears to be a serious violation of a treaty formed during the Cold War to prevent Russia from taking such actions. Rather relations between Russia and other major nations have been rather tense over the last few months in light of the Ukraine crisis, these missile tests appear to be worsening a situation which was already in a relatively fragile state.

The treaty in question was made in 1987. The treaty was formed during the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear war was a very serious fear for many nations. Accusations that Russia has now broken its agreement come from the United States, where President Barack Obama and his administration are claiming that Putin authorized missile tests that go against the treaty’s restrictions. If these allegations are true, the move seems badly timed on Putin’s part, as many nations in the G7 have voiced plans to impose economic sanctions against Russia for its recent militaristic actions in Ukraine. Obama’s administration plans to pursue an investigation and release a report within the following weeks.

missile tests

Former President Ronald Reagan was in office when the treaty was signed. He and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to a ceasefire on specific weapons testing, to help cool tensions between their respective nations. The recent missile tests were, according to the United States, performed using cruise missiles not unlike those used against the Malaysian aircraft that went down in Ukraine. If true, sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union may become even heftier than before, the Mail Online reports.

The United States is hoping that these allegations will finally get Russia to cease its current militaristic actions in the Ukraine, though no sign of such ceasefire has yet to be seen. If anything, the missile tests may be a sign that much more is to come. Obama’s administration has made similar allegations in the past, but those being made now are a bit different. Their formal accusation has been spurred by recent events, as well as by the desires of many members of Congress.

Such missile tests may be banned by the treaty formed by Reagan and Gorbachev during the Cold War, but as of now no clear message has been sent regarding what actions will be taken against Russia if these claims turn out to be true. It appears that Obama’s administration would like to coerce Russia into upholding the treaty rather than taking any more severe actions against the Russian people, but a final decision will not likely be made until investigation into the alleged missile tests has been completed.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE