Stoltenberg: Russia INF violation a risk to Euro-Atlantic security

09 December, 2018, 05:15 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Top senators slam Trump’s INF treaty pullout call it ‘gift to Russia

"First the American side stated its intention to withdraw from the treaty. then it began to look for the justifications for doing so", Putin said in comments carried by Russian news agencies.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 between the Soviet Union and the USA on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.

In a televised address, Putin said Washington was accusing Moscow of violating the 1987 nuclear arms control treaty to be able to exit the agreement.

"It is "simplest" for the United States to say, 'Russia is to blame, '" Putin said.

US-Russia ties are under deep strain over accusations Moscow meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

Stoltenberg said the 29 NATO allies will "collectively develop responses" should the treaty be abandoned, but he declined to say what they might be.

"If the INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces] treaty is destroyed, we won't leave it without a response", he said, The Moscow Times reported.

The INF treaty, negotiated by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and ratified by the U.S. Senate, eliminated the medium-range missile arsenals of the world's two biggest nuclear powers and reduced their ability to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.

Washington says the system contravenes the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans all land-based cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310-3,410 miles), and President Donald Trump is threatening to pull out of the bilateral pact.

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While Mr. Pompeo's announcement left open a 60-day window for talks, the dramatic move set nerves on edge at a gathering of NATO's top diplomats, raising the prospect that new Cold War-style arms race could be about to play out across the continent.

Pompeo announced the decision after NATO allies meeting in Brussels supported Washington's contention that Russian Federation violated the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

On Tuesday, the Western military alliance formally accused Russian Federation of breaking the treaty.

The prospect of the INF's disintegration would remove what has been a pillar of nuclear stability for the trans-Atlantic community for the last 30 years, demand a hard re-think of NATO's defensive posture, and exert new budgetary pressure on the allies, said officials.

"Now it seems our American partners believe that the situation has changed so much that the United States must also have such a weapon".

"These documents were received for further processing", said Zakharova.

"We've talked to the Russians a great deal", he said.

Putin claimed that the United States was seeking to use Russian Federation as a scapegoat for the demise of the INF by accusing it of a violation.

"It's urgent that Russian Federation ensures full compliance in a transparent and verifiable way, because the INF treaty is so important for our security", Stoltenberg said Tuesday.

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