Putin says if United States starts developing intermediate-range missiles, so will Russian Federation

05 December, 2018, 16:06 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • U.S. signals it will suspend nuclear treaty with Russia after NATO finding

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.

The European Union has urged both the United States and Russian Federation to uphold the INF treaty, saying the pact is one of the cornerstones of European security.

The NATO allies vow to "uphold, support, and further strengthen arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation., taking into account the prevailing security environment".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after the decision that the United States would suspend its treaty obligations in 60 days over the alleged violations.

Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, told foreign defense attaches in Moscow on December 5 that a USA withdrawal from the treaty would be a "dangerous step that can negatively affect not only European security, but also strategic stability as a whole".

The U.S. has shared intelligence evidence with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies that it says shows that Russia's new SSC-8 ground-fired cruise missile could give Moscow the ability to launch a nuclear strike in Europe with little or no notice.

At issue is a new Russian missile system - known as both the 9M729 and SSC-8 - that is nuclear-capable and violates the treaty's ban on ground-based missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (311-3,418 miles).

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"During this 60 days, we will still not test or produce or deploy any systems, and we'll see what happens during this 60-day period", Pompeo told journalists in Brussels.

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

"They are not going to change course on the basis of a US threat to withdraw", Kimball said. Stoltenberg stressed that Russian Federation still had time to comply but added "we must also start to prepare for a world without the treaty".

"The Russian side has repeatedly declared that this is, to say the least, speculation", Zakharova said of the USA allegation. "Now Russia is attempting to use Crimea to expand its influence and control of the Sea of Azov", Stoltenberg said.

Putin said on Wednesday that the USA decision to ditch the INF means Washington has decided the United States "has to have these weapons".

Over the past five years, the USA has raised its concerns over the SSC-8 at least 30 times with Russian Federation "to the highest levels of leadership", Pompeo said, only to be met with denials, obfuscation and spurious counter-claims.

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