Stimson in the News

Krasnoyarsk: The Antecedent to the INF Treaty Violation? by Michael Krepon

in Program

Two former Soviet experts who played key roles in Cold War arms control negotiations, Aleksandr’ G. Savel’yev and Nikolay N. Detinov, wrote an important book giving outsiders insight into the Kremlin’s decision making. The English language version of their book, The Big Five, was published in 1995. Their account of decision making regarding the construction of the Krasnoyask radar is telling and could provide clues into Moscow’s subsequent decision to deploy new ground-launched cruise missiles with range capabilities prohibited by the INF Treaty. This maneuver led to the INF Treaty’s demise.

Russian officials maintain that (a) the missiles in question do not have range capabilities prohibited by the Treaty, despite apparent flight testing to the contrary; and (b) this was a “technical” rather than a substantive matter. The Obama administration didn’t buy these arguments. Neither did the Trump administration, which announced its intention to withdraw from the Treaty in February, after which Moscow followed suit.

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