lower Saxony Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) has expressed dismay over the imminent end of the INF Treaty for the renunciation of land-based nuclear medium-range weapons. “A new arms race must be avoided at all costs. Probably we need a new peace movement,” said Weil. Peace is not a matter of course. He can see how 30 years after the end of the Cold war, the old ghosts would come back, Because.

On Friday, had announced US President Donald Trump and Minister of foreign Affairs Mike Pompeo in Washington that the United States felt from this Saturday in the obligations of the Treaty bound. They accuse Russia of the Treaty infidelity. As a response, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Saturday that Russia intends to suspend the INF Treaty. The agreement prohibits cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometers, and also the production and testing of such systems says. Until the end of the contract is sealed, stay – at least theoretically – up to six months time for a possible settlement of the dispute.

foreign Minister Heiko Maas has called for a new global disarmament initiative. “The issue of disarmament back on the international agenda. This is not only true for the United States and Russia, countries like China need to be involved,” said the SPD politician of the Newspapers of the “Funke MEDIENGRUPPE”. In the last decades, many new weapons systems were developed. The Federal government will work to ensure that there is a new rules for the new technologies.

warnings from Moscow

in the face of enormous technological and financial capabilities of the United States, it was expected that Washington “could already develop in the first half of the next decade, medium-range missiles in Europe are stationed,” says Ruslan Puchow, Moscow military analyst and Director of the CAST Institute. This would lead within a short period of time “for the deployment of Russian missiles, a sharp intensification of tensions in Europe and a repeat of the nuclear missile crisis from the beginning of the Eighties”. Might prevent the according to Puchow not more than the Europeans, “in the first line of the Germans, who remember the history of the Cold war and could prevent such missiles to be stationed”.

Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of the Moscow magazine “Russia in Global Affairs”, speaks of the “almost final dismantling of the system of arms control”, which had built Washington and Moscow since the sixties tedious. The only things left in 2010, closed the “Start-3” contract that would expire but in 2021, stay now, it should not be extended. Both the US government as well as Russia’s President Putin would profess to have no interest in a new arms race – however, Lukyanov considers it likely “that you slip into reality in just such a Situation”.

Why is evolution so dangerous?

The United States and the former Soviet Union agreed in 1987 on a mutual renunciation of nuclear configurable medium-range missiles, has been fixed this in the INF Treaty Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed. In doing so, the Ban on land-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5500 kilometers.

Previously, a dramatic arms race in Europe: Since the end of the seventy years of the Soviet Union had begun to deploy medium-range missiles of the type SS-20 in Eastern Europe, which were aimed at targets in Western Europe. The Western military Alliance responded with the so-called Nato double-track decision and the installation of American Pershing II missiles and Cruise Missiles in Europe.

especially in Germany, suggested, however, massive Protest: hundreds of thousands went against the “Nato-retrofit” on the road. The stationing of medium-range missiles was particularly controversial: unlike nuclear-tipped long range missiles there is because of their short flight time of about ten minutes only a little time for a reaction, or a nuclear strike. The Soviet high command therefore developed, in the meantime, a computer-based auto-trigger to the United States, then, atomically with the to destroy a counter-strike if U.S. missiles would be off on their own leadership in Moscow already.

However, these computer systems were susceptible to interference and error: in 1983, about a Soviet early warning system reported the launch of a U.S. nuclear missile – only, the duty officer, Stanislav Petrov, prevented at that time a nuclear disaster.

The MIRROR visited Petrov in 2010, before the gates of Moscow:

Benjamin Bidder/ SPIEGEL ONLINE The world at the precipice: How Stanislav Petrov, the third world war prevented – the story of a nearly forgotten heroes

beb/with Material from dpa