The U.S.-Russian INF Treaty Dispute: Invocation of the Special Verification Commission Facility

There’s a very interesting new issue brief over at the Arms Control Association website. The title is “Next Steps on U.S.-Russian INF Treaty Dispute.”  It gives details on the background of the multifaceted dispute between the U.S. and Russia over the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and also reports some recent developments.

Particularly interesting is the report that the U.S. has called for a meeting of the “Special Verification Commission,” a facility provided for in Article XIII of the INF treaty. As Article XIII states:

The Parties agree that, if either Party so requests, they shall meet within the framework of the Special Verification Commission to:

(a) resolve questions relating to compliance with the obligations assumed; and

(b) agree upon such measures as may be necessary to improve the viability and effectiveness of this Treaty.

The procedures of the SVC are fleshed out in a MOU concluded by the U.S. and Russia in connection with the treaty. You can see the MOU text here.

I wasn’t aware of the INF’s SVC facility. At first glance it looks like a very interesting example of a purpose-built verification and dispute resolution mechanism within an arms control agreement. It will be intriguing to see what role its invocation might play in addressing and possibly resolving the compliance disputes concerning the INF treaty.





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