The announcement made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came as an utter shock. The U.S. is withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which has been in existence since the Cold War itself.
The United States' stance provoked an immediate reaction: Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was doing the same. According to BBC World News, experts are warning of a nuclear race, although the Russian supreme leader made a point of stating that the scale of weapon development in Russia will only match that of the U.S.
For years, the Cold War kept the member states of NATO and those of the Warsaw Pact on tenterhooks. The treaty that is now at risk of being overturned was signed in Washington by former President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Today, the U.S., or rather its president, is showing little amenability toward his NATO partners or willingness to comply with the arms reduction quota. Europe is also mistrustful of Moscow, especially since the invasion of Crimea. It is hoped that we do not return to the “balance of terror,” which was thought to have been overcome.
For the U.S., the issue of nuclear arms has been pivotal. Several of the countries with whom it has strained relations are nuclear powers. There is dissension between the U.S. and Russia, despite increasing evidence of the deal made with Trump’s campaign team to politically sabotage Hillary Clinton.
As for the relationship with Iran, despite attempts to resolve the nuclear threat, tensions have shifted to the issue of oil. The embargo did not stop Russia and China from buying crude oil from the land of the ayatollahs.
Regarding North Korea, even though tensions between the two countries have eased and the threat to South Korea is apparently no longer imminent, its nuclear power is still intact. The nuclear tests carried out a year and a half ago made the world tremble over the prospect of a third world war being unleashed. Trump considers the expensive defense of his ally a burden.
The renewed tensions between Washington and Moscow come just as Trump and Putin have adopted different stances with respect to the tyrant Nicolás Maduro. The matter of oil, who controls it, and each country’s interests are, once again, in dispute.