The Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the elimination of their intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, commonly referred to as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces or INF Treaty, was signed by US President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, at the time General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, on 8 December 1987. The treaty, which required the US and USSR to eliminate and permanently give up all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5 500 kilometres, entered into force on 1 June 1988. By the implementation deadline of 1 June 1991, the two parties had together destroyed a total of 2 692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles. It marked the first elimination of an entire category of weapons capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Following the break-up of the USSR at the end of 1991, Russia took on the USSR’s obligations under the INF Treaty; Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine are also active participants in the process of implementing the treaty.
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