Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Eurasia Center Director at Atlantic Council John E. Herbst says Moscow has been waging the Cold War against the West for over a decade.
"If you read Russian newspapers and magazines, watch Russian TV programs, you know that the Kremlin has been waging the Cold War against the West, against the United States for 12-14 years. Their rhetoric is the rhetoric of war. They describe the West, especially America, in black colors," he said in an interview to the Novoe Vremya weekly, answering a question about the situation with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), as well as the possibility of a new Cold War.
"And when we begin to soberly but pointedly speak about their policy [Russia], they shout that we are starting a cold war. But in fact, they started it long ago. And they have been violating the INF Treaty for several years. And when we say: 'As a result of your violation, we do not have to comply with this treaty,' they say: 'Well, you are violating the treaty!' Typical Kremlin tactics," the diplomat said.
UNIAN memo. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty, formally Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles) is a 1987 arms control agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union (and later its successor state the Russian Federation). Signed in Washington, D.C. by President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on December 8, 1987, the treaty was ratified by the United States Senate on May 27, 1988 and came into force on June 1, 1988.
The INF Treaty eliminated all nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500-1,000 kilometers (310-620 mi) (short-range) and 1,000-5,500 km (620-3,420 mi) (intermediate-range). The treaty did not cover sea-launched missiles. By May 1991, some 2,692 missiles had been disposed, followed by 10 years of on-site verification inspections.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on October 20, 2018, he would pull out of a Cold-War-era treaty with Russia that limited the number of missiles in each country. Trump said Moscow had violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and he would halt the agreement.