Procedure : 2019/2574(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0133/2019

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))

Klaus Buchner, Bodil Valero, Ska Keller, Philippe Lamberts, Reinhard Bütikofer, Jordi Solé, Michèle Rivasi on behalf of the Verts/ALE 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 (hereinafter the ‘INF Treaty’) of 8 December 1987 between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR),

–  having regard to the White House Statement on 1 February 2019 that, in response to Russia’s alleged violation of the INF Treaty, President Donald Trump had directed that the United States would suspend its participation in the INF Treaty from 2 February and move forward with developing an intermediate-range, conventionally-armed, ground-launched missile system,

–  having regard to concerns raised by the US and NATO regarding Russia’s failure to comply with the INF Treaty with particular regard to its new 9M729 missile system, most recently expressed in the Statement of 1 February 2019 issued by the North Atlantic Council,

–  having regard to the Statement of 2 February by President Vladimir Putin that, in view of the suspension of US participation in the INF Treaty, the Russian Federation would also suspend its participation in the INF Treaty,

–  having regard to Russia’s concerns that US Aegis Ashore missiles and MK41 launchers being deployed in certain European territories in conjunction with missile defence systems are of the prohibited range and could be adapted to threaten Russian cities in the future, contrary to INF Treaty obligations,

–  having regard to the importance of full compliance with the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), with its obligations on all States to pursue nuclear disarmament in good faith and to cease the nuclear arms race,

–  having regard to the UN General Assembly resolution of 13 December 2011 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East (A/RES/66/61),

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) adopted on 7 July 2017 by the UN General Assembly,

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 March 2010 on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 January 2013 on the Recommendations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference regarding the establishment of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 27 October 2016 on nuclear security and non-proliferation(3),

–  having regard to the EU seminars on non-proliferation and disarmament and to the regular meetings of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium,

–  having regard to the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the Ninth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (8079/15),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2012/422/CFSP of 23 July 2012 in support of a process leading to the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East(4),

–  having regard to the Basel Appeal on Disarmament and Sustainable Security of 29 January 2019 signed by mayors, parliamentarians and representatives of think tanks and civil society,

–  having regard to the Joint Statement by seven French peace organisations on 24 January 2019 commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the first resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, Resolution 1(1) adopted on 24 January 1946, which called for the elimination of nuclear weapons,

–  having regard to the Nobel Peace Prize 2017 awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN),

–  having regard to the address by ICAN’s Executive Director to the plenary of the European Parliament on 7 February 2018,

–  having regard to the announcement on 24 January 2019 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that the Doomsday Clock remains set at two minutes to midnight due to the risks to humanity and civilisation posed by nuclear weapons and climate change,

–  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 required both parties to destroy their stockpiles of ground-launched nuclear and conventionally-armed ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5 500 km, while prohibiting them from possessing, producing and flight-testing these missiles;

B.  whereas the INF Treaty contributed to building and reinforcing stability in the Cold War era by vastly reducing the number of missiles in Europe, making Europe the principal beneficiary of the INF Treaty’s success; whereas, as a result of the INF Treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union destroyed a total of 2 692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles by the treaty’s implementation deadline of 1 June 1991;

C.  whereas on 1 February 2019 the US declared that it would withdraw from the INF Treaty in six months because it believes that Russia is in material breach of the accord;

D.  whereas the President of the Russian Federation announced on 2 February 2019 that Russia would suspend the INF Treaty and develop new types of missiles; whereas the Russian authorities have repeatedly raised concerns about NATO missile defence installations;

E.  whereas Russia has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander short-range missiles to Kaliningrad and is conducting exercises and overflights involving nuclear-capable systems, and whereas statements by Russian political and military leaders have aggravated concerns about increased reliance on nuclear weapons by Russia;

F.  whereas a number of nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties already exist in certain regions of the world, namely Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific, South-East Asia, Africa and Central Asia;

G.  whereas the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was opened for signature by the UN Secretary-General on 20 September 2017 and has to date been signed by 70 states, of which 21 have become state parties through ratification, and whereas one of these is an EU Member State, Austria, with Ireland likely to deliver its instruments of ratification to the UN Secretary-General within the next few months;

H.  whereas a larger number of deployed nuclear weapons generates a greater risk of unintentional nuclear detonations, and in particular of accidental weapons launch;

1.  Underlines that the end of the INF Treaty threatens one of Europe’s most vital security interests; underlines that the INF Treaty has made a vital contribution to European security for over 30 years and that allowing it to collapse would have serious and negative impacts, including a return to destabilising nuclear arms races, the undermining of European security and institutions that are vital for peace and stability, and an erosion of the international rules-based legal institutions and norms in this field; stresses that a collapse of the INF Treaty might lead to heightened nuclear and military threats and risks, potentially leading to the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation, accident or intent;

2.  Expresses deep concern at US and Russian announcements that they will suspend their obligations under the INF Treaty, and considers that threats to withdraw from this treaty in six months will unleash a new arms race;

3.  Calls on both Russia and the United States to engage in talks to resolve the respective allegations of non-compliance as a matter of the utmost urgency, under the auspices of the UN Security Council’s Special Verification Commission or other appropriate forums, with the objective of examining the claims and determining the next steps to bring the parties into full compliance, and of strengthening the INF Treaty by restoring compliance through enhanced transparency, mutual monitoring, verification and other appropriate steps to provide reassurance and build confidence that the treaty is not subject to further breaches or undermining;

4.  Urges the VP/HR and the Member States to use all political and diplomatic means at their disposal during the next six months to convince Russia and the US to continue to abide by the INF Treaty and to improve compliance with its provisions; underlines that these short-term efforts by the EU should focus in particular on enabling Russia and the United States to resolve issues of fact and evidence and to determine whether there have been technical or material violations, including through on-site inspections with regard to both the Russian 9M729 missiles and the US ‘Aegis Ashore’ missile defence systems, and to enable these issues to be resolved in a manner that reinforces the INF Treaty and the non-proliferation regime, as well as European and international security;

5.  Believes that European security should remain indivisible; calls on all EU Member States which are also NATO members to act accordingly;

6.  Calls on all nuclear-weapon states to take interim measures to reduce the risk of nuclear-weapon detonations, including reducing the operational status of nuclear weapons and moving nuclear weapons away from deployment into storage, diminishing the role of nuclear weapons in military doctrines and rapidly reducing all types of nuclear weapons;

7.  Underlines the urgent need to prevent regional nuclear arms races and the stationing of new nuclear weapons between the Atlantic and the Ural mountains;

8.  Commends the entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the universalisation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the establishment of further nuclear-free zones as positive steps; believes that Europe must lead by example in order to be credible and to advance a nuclear free-free world to which all European states are committed;

9.  Urges the Union to act as a pro-active and credible security provider by launching initiatives aimed at reviving multilateral and rules-based nuclear disarmament and arms control; calls on the VP/HR and the Member States, also in view of the phasing out of the New START treaty in 2021 and the upcoming 2020 NPT Review Conference, to develop a credible and ambitious nuclear disarmament strategy, based on effective multilateralism, which aims to achieve the goal of a Europe free of weapons of mass destruction; calls in this respect on the VP/HR and the Member States to urgently consider:

(i)  an in-depth review and update of the 2003 EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction with a strong focus on multilateral disarmament,

(ii)  signing and ratifying as a matter of urgency the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,

(iii)  measures to reduce and eliminate all short-range and theatre nuclear weapons regarded as sub-strategic or non-strategic, in particular from European soil, including the Western part of Russia;

(iv)  an EU initiative to involve China in future multilateral measures aimed at reducing and eliminating intermediate-range nuclear weapons;

10.  Reiterates its position of 12 December 2018 as regards the future European Defence Fund, namely that weapons of mass destruction and related warhead technology and means of delivery shall not be eligible for funding with respect to ongoing inter-institutional negotiations with the Council and the Commission;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the Member States, NATO, the US Congress, the Russian Parliament and the United Nations.




OJ C 349 E, 22.12.2010, p. 77.


OJ C 440, 30.12.2015, p. 97.


OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 202.


OJ L 196, 24.7.2012, p. 67.

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