Procedure : 2019/2574(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0130/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 13/02/2019 - 20
CRE 13/02/2019 - 20

Votes :

PV 14/02/2019 - 10.16

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0128/2019

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the future of the INF Treaty and the impact on the EU (2019/2574(RSP))

Michael Gahler, Cristian Dan Preda, Sandra Kalniete, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez‑Neyra, David McAllister, Tunne Kelam, Eduard Kukan on behalf of the PPE Group

European Parliament resolution on the future of the INF Treaty and the impact on the EU (2019/2574(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), signed in Washington on 8 December 1987 by the then US President Ronald Reagan and the then President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union) Mikhail Gorbachev,

–  having regard to the 2018 Report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments prepared by the US Department of State,

–  having regard to the statement of 21 October 2018 by US President Donald Trump threatening the withdrawal of the US from the INF Treaty,

–  having regard to President Trump’s statement of 1 February 2019 confirming the withdrawal of the US from the INF Treaty,

–  having regard to the statement of 2 February 2019 by Russian President Vladimir Putin confirming his government’s suspension of Russia’s participation in the treaty,

–  having regard to the statement on the INF Treaty issued by NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels on 4 December 2018,

–  having regard to the EU Global Strategy of June 2016,

–  having regard to the EU strategy against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction of 10 December 2003 and the annual progress report on the implementation of the European Union strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (2017) of 18 May 2018(1),

–  having regard to the remarks by Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), at the seventh EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference held in Brussels on 18 and 19 December 2018,

–  having regard to the joint declaration on EU-NATO cooperation, signed in Brussels on 10 July 2018,

–  having regard to the report of its Committee on Foreign Affairs of 8 February 2019 on the state of EU-Russia political relations,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the INF Treaty, signed in 1987 by the United States and the Soviet Union, was a unique agreement of the cold war era, as it required both countries to destroy their stockpiles of, rather than set limits on, ground-launched nuclear and conventionally armed ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5 500 km, and prohibited parties from possessing, producing and flight-testing these missiles;

B.  whereas the INF Treaty contributed to containing strategic competition between the US and the Soviet Union, while helping to build and reinforce stability during the cold war era; whereas it continues to be a pillar of international peace and stability, particularly in the European security architecture, and has critical importance for the security of the US and its European allies;

C.  whereas in 2014 the Obama administration stated that Russia was ‘in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5 500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles’; whereas subsequent reports, published by the US Department of State in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, reiterated US claims of Russia’s continued violation of the treaty;

D.  whereas in December 2017, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the treaty, President Trump’s administration announced an ‘integrated strategy’ of diplomatic, military and economic measures, aimed at bringing Russia back into compliance; whereas these measures included diplomatic efforts through the Special Verification Commission, the launch of a military research and development programme, and economic measures against Russian entities involved in developing and producing the non-compliant missile;

E.  whereas on 20 October 2018 President Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the treaty as a result of Russia’s non-compliance and China’s non-participation; whereas on 4 December 2018, after the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US had found Russia in material breach of the treaty and would suspend its obligations as a remedy effective in 60 days unless Russia returned to full and verifiable compliance;

F.  whereas in December 2018 NATO released a statement in support of the US findings that Russia was in material breach of its obligations under the treaty, and called on Russia to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance with the treaty;

G.  whereas on 1 February 2019 the US announced that it would suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from it, unless the Russian Federation returned to compliance with its terms within 180 days; whereas on 2 February 2019 the Russian Federation made a similar decision to suspend its participation in the treaty;

1.  Reiterates its full commitment to the preservation of effective international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation regimes as a cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic and global security;

2.  Expresses its strong condemnation of the Russian Federation for continuing to breach the terms of the INF Treaty and for not showing any willingness to return to compliance with its terms;

3.  Calls on the Russian Federation to demonstrate full and verifiable compliance in order to address the concerns raised by the US and NATO and enable the continuation of the INF Treaty;

4.  Recognises the importance of full transparency and dialogue in the interests of building trust and confidence in the implementation of the INF Treaty and any other agreements that support strategic stability and security; encourages, in the light of the above, a renewal of constructive dialogue between the United States and the Russian Federation and calls for negotiations to be pursued in good faith on effective measures relating to their nuclear arsenals;

5.  Regrets the fact that the suspension of the INF Treaty might, in the worst-case scenario, lead to the end of the current strategic balance in Europe, resulting in a possible arms race and escalation of tensions which might be detrimental to European security and strategic stability on the continent;

6.  Calls on the VP/HR to develop a common threat assessment analysing the implications for EU security and the possible continuation of the strategic balance should the INF Treaty become redundant, which is the most likely development, and to report back to Parliament in a timely manner in accordance with Article 36 of the Treaty on European Union;

7.  Calls on the VP/HR to assist Member States in developing a common position that guarantees both deterrence and détente, in the light of the report of its Committee on Foreign Affairs on the state of EU-Russia political relations; calls on the Member States, should future negotiations between the US and the Russian Federation not produce tangible results, to consider options to recreate the strategic nuclear balance on the European continent by themselves;

8.  Calls on the VP/HR to initiate and oversee the use of EU funds and means to improve the Union’s knowledge base with regard to human capacity to analyse threats emanating from nuclear weapons; calls on the VP/HR to present prudent plans for how to prevent unintended or accidental use of nuclear weapons;

9.  Urges the VP/HR to engage in dialogue with both signatory states, while passing on the EU’s mediation expertise and experience, with a view to negotiating a new arms deal between the US and the Russian Federation, which could include maximum levels or geographical limitations for the use of nuclear weapons;

10.  Urges both sides to renew the 2010 New START Agreement, due to expire in 2021, which limits the number of strategic warheads deployed on either side to 1 550;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the President and Members of Congress of the United States, the President of the Russian Federation, and the Members of the Russian State Duma and the Federation Council.



OJ C 172, 18.5.2018, p. 1.

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