Document Type : Original Article


Ph.D. Student in International Law at Zhejiang Gongshang University, China, & Lecturer at University of Gondar, School of Law, Ethiopia


Nowadays, unilateral termination of international treaties is repeatedly exercised and becomes normal and justified by states’ strict sense of protection of sovereign interest. This article aims to assess the legal standards and impacts of unilateral termination of international treaties by analyzing the US unilateral termination of the Treaty on Elimination of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF treaty) signed by the US and the USSR in 1987. The finding shows that the US terminated the INF treaty in 2019 by alleging Russia violated the Treaty, and the justification considered ‘an extraordinary event that jeopardizes supreme interest’. This paper argues that the termination negated the purpose of the Treaty and had different alternatives to avoid withdrawal, but options have been overlooked. The termination endangers normative principles of flexibility, good faith, and trust in international law of treaties that can lead parties into dangerous escalation in the intensifying global arms race to provoke a nuclear war. 


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