INF Diplomacy Highlights Timeline

Fact Sheet

Washington, DC
November 16, 2018

Since 2013, the United States has raised its concerns with Russia regarding Russian development of a ground-launched cruise missile (NATO: SSC-8, Russian: 9M729) with a range capability between 500 and 5,500 kilometers on repeated occasions to resolve U.S. concerns. These include more than 30 engagements with various departments and levels, including the highest, of the Russian government. The U.S. priority is for Russia to return to compliance, and the United States continues to engage the Russian Government to resolve our concerns. The United States has regularly consulted European and Asian allies and partners on Russia’s violation. Some public highlights of these diplomatic engagements:

May 2013 Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Donilon and Deputy Secretary of State Burns meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Patrushev. The United States first raises INF concerns with Russian officials. Russia subsequently denies any noncompliant activities.
May 2013 Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Gottemoeller raises U.S. concerns with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov.
June 25, 2013 Russian Ambassador Kislyak provides initial Russian response denying noncompliant activities and reaffirms Russia’s commitment to the INF Treaty.
November 16, 2013 DFM Ryabkov provides final Russian response denying noncompliant activities and reaffirms Russia’s commitment to the INF Treaty.
January 2014 U/S Gottemoeller meeting with NATO Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Committee.
July 31, 2014 U.S. releases 2014 Compliance Report, finding Russia in violation of the INF Treaty. This marks the first public announcement of the U.S. determination regarding Russia’s violation. Shortly after the report’s release, Secretary of Defense Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Dempsey discuss the Russian violation with their Russian counterparts.
September 5, 2014 Wales NATO Summit Communique states: “…Allies call on Russia to preserve the viability of the INF Treaty through ensuring full and verifiable compliance.”
September 11, 2014 Per U.S. initiative, bilateral experts meeting takes place. Russia denies the existence of the missile.
February 2015 Secretary of Defense Hagel discusses Russian INF Treaty violations at the NATO Nuclear Planning Group.
April 20, 2015 Per U.S. initiative, second bilateral experts meeting takes place. Russia denies the existence of the missile.
May 12, 2015 Secretary Kerry raises the issue with President Putin.
June 5, 2015 2015 Arms Control Compliance Report affirms Russia’s continuing violation of the INF Treaty.
December 28, 2015 Secretary Kerry raises the issue with Foreign Minister Lavrov.
February 16, 2016 U/S Gottemoeller meeting with DFM Ryabkov.
April 8, 2016 U/S Gottemoeller meeting with DFM Ryabkov.
April 11, 2016 2016 Arms Control Compliance Report affirms Russia’s continuing violation of the INF Treaty.
June 2016 Secretary of Defense Carter discusses Russian INF Treaty violations at the NATO Nuclear Planning Group.
July 9, 2016 Warsaw NATO Summit Communique states: “Allies therefore continue to call on Russia to preserve the viability of the INF Treaty through ensuring full and verifiable compliance.”
Nov. 15-16, 2016 The United States convenes the Special Verification Commission for the first time since 2003.
December 2016 The United States briefs allies and partners that U.S. concerns remain unresolved.
April 12, 2017 Secretary of State Tillerson meets with FM Lavrov.
April 14, 2017 2017 Arms Control Compliance Report affirms Russia’s continuing violation of the INF Treaty.
May 8, 2017 U/S Shannon raises the INF issue with DFM Ryabkov.
May 10, 2017 Secretary Tillerson raises the INF issue with FM Lavrov.
June 2017 Secretary of Defense Mattis discusses Russian INF Treaty violation at NATO Nuclear Planning Group.
September 12, 2017 Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Shannon raises the INF Treaty issue as part of the discussion with DFM Ryabkov at Strategic Stability Talks in Helsinki, Finland.
November 2017 Secretary of Defense Mattis discusses Russian INF Treaty violations at the NATO Nuclear Planning Group.
November 3, 2017 Ambassador Huntsman meets with DFM Ryabkov to inform Russia on the U.S. Integrated Strategy of diplomatic, military, and economic steps the United States will take to encourage Russia to return to full and verifiable compliance with the INF Treaty.
November 6, 2017 NSC Senior Directors Christopher Ford and Fiona Hill meet with Russian Ambassador Antonov to inform Russia on the U.S. Integrated Strategy.
November 29, 2017 NSC Senior Director Christopher Ford publicly announces U.S. assessment that the Russian designator for the SSC-8 missile is “9M729” during remarks at the Wilson Center.
December 8, 2017 The United States announces its INF Treaty Integrated Strategy with press releases, fact sheets, and an interview by U/S Shannon with Kommersant.
December 9, 2017 Russian DFM Ryabkov publicly acknowledges the existence of the 9M729 but claims it is not capable of INF range.
Dec. 12-14, 2017 The United States again convenes the Special Verification Commission.
December 15, 2017 The North Atlantic Council issues a statement highlighting concerns about Russia’s missile development, affirming U.S. compliance, and calling on Russia to engage constructively.
December 20, 2017 U.S. Federal Register publishes final rule for adding Novator and Titan, two companies involved in the development of the SSC-8/9M729, to the Department of Commerce Entity List.
February 2, 2018 NATO High Level Group meeting; the United States requests Allies to engage Russia on INF Treaty violation.
February 14, 2018 March 5, 2018 Ambassador Huntsman discusses INF issue with Russian DFM Ryabkov.
April 12, 2018 2018 Arms Control Compliance Report affirms Russia’s continuing violation of the INF Treaty.
May 8, 2018 NATO High Level Group meeting; the United States requests Allies to engage Russia on INF Treaty violation.
June 8, 2018 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dunford raises INF concerns with Russian Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov.
June 15, 2018 Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Thompson raises the issue with Russian Ambassador Antonov.
June 21, 2018 Per U.S. initiative, third bilateral experts meeting takes place. Russia refuses further discussion of the violating missile.
July 11, 2018 Brussels NATO Summit Declaration states: “Allies believe that, in the absence of any credible answer from Russia on this new missile, the most plausible assessment would be that Russia is in violation of the Treaty.”
August 23, 2018 APNSA Bolton meets Russian Security Council Secretary Patrushev in Geneva.
October 4, 2018 Secretary Mattis engages NATO Allies on Russia’s INF Treaty violation.
October 20, 2018 President Trump publicly states Russia has not adhered to the INF Treaty and that he intends to exit it.
October 23, 2018 Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor Bolton meetings with President Putin, FM Lavrov, and Russian Security Council Secretary Patrushev.
October 25, 2018 NATO North Atlantic Council meeting; the United States engages with Allies on Russia’s INF Treaty violations.
October 31, 2018 NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg comments on the INF Treaty and posts on NATO website: “No arms control arrangement can be effective if it is only respected by one side.”
November 8, 2018 Assistant Secretary of State Poblete, Assistant Secretary of Defense Anderson, and NSC Senior Director Morrison brief Allies at NATO Nuclear Consultation Meeting.

In addition to the above exchanges, the United States has raised Russia’s violation with Russian senior leaders many times, including at the highest levels of government. The United States has provided detailed information to Russia regarding its violation over the course of these bilateral and multilateral engagements, giving more than enough information for Russia to engage substantively on the issue. This includes the following:

  • Information pertaining to the missile and the launcher, including Russia’s internal designator for the mobile launcher chassis and the names of the companies involved in developing and producing the missile and launcher;
  • Information on the violating GLCM’s test history, including coordinates of the tests and Russia’s attempts to obfuscate the nature of the program;
  • The violating GLCM has a range capability between 500 and 5,500 kilometers;
  • The violating GLCM is distinct from the R-500/SSC-7 GLCM or the RS-26 ICBM; and,
  • The United States assesses the Russian designator for the system in question is 9M729.

If Russia had decided it wanted to return to compliance, it had a clear path forward. There are measures in the Treaty that were previously used for eliminating systems, which Russia could have adapted to verifiably destroy the SSC-8 and its associated equipment. Russia decided not to do so.