(English) The FIR cautions: No nuclear armament in Central Europe!

3. Februar 2019

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At the beginning of February 2019, the US administration put its threat of last autumn into practice and cancelled the bilateral treaty with Russia on the destruction of nuclear medium-range systems (INF) concluded in 1987.

This decision was linked to the assertion that Russia had not adhered to the treaty because it had developed a missile that could be used in the range of the prohibited ranges between 500 and 5,500 km. This was repeatedly rejected by the Russian government. Russia itself has several times accused the USA and NATO of violating the treaty by building missile-launching bases in Poland and Romania. In addition, the permanent stationing of troops and offensive weapons near the Russian western border is an aggressive step.

In autumn 2018 the FIR reminded of it: «When 30 years ago the USA and the USSR signed this agreement, it led actually to a scrapping of a whole category of nuclear weapons, thus to a real disarmament. The end of the block confrontation with the dissolution of the «Warsaw Treaty» contributed to the fact that the military tensions in Central Europe could be reduced at times actually.” Moreover, the FIR warned, «The end of the INF treaty would be more than the termination of a treaty, it would be the end of an international disarmament and arms control policy which has made Europe and the world safer from the dangers of a nuclear war. The Treaty has sufficient provisions in case any party to the Treaty should see violations of the INF Agreement. These joint commissions must work. Propaganda «accusations» do not help.»

Instead of approaching the USA and Russia in the sense of reason and demilitarization of Europe, the European NATO states demonstratively stood behind the escalation policy of the USA and encouraged the Trump administration to withdraw from the treaty — with the now visible result.

The consequences were predictable. Russian President Putin declared after the American decision «We reply in mirror image: Our American partners have suspended their participation in the INF treaty. We are also suspending (our participation).

The FIR and their member federations see in this contract also today still an important instrument against a nuclear arms race. The FIR calls on all European governments to use their influence, to approach the American and Russian side and to initiate negotiations in order to preserve the agreement. Instead of deciding on armament, the measures of mutual inspections agreed in 1987 must be revitalized again.

Together with the peace movements from all countries the FIR, which received in the 80’s from the UNO the honorary title «ambassador of the peace», will become active against a renewed nuclear armament. A world without nuclear weapons remains the goal, no «retrofitting» or nuclear medium-range missiles in Europe!

We renew the legacy of 1945: «Never again war!”