USA threatens to pull out of nuclear missile treaty

06 December, 2018, 07:00 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin uses a pair of binoculars as he watches the Vostok-2018 war games

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told NATO ministers in Brussels Tuesday it will begin the six-month process of withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 60 days if Moscow does not regain compliance with the treaty.

"Our nations have a choice".

When signed in 1987, the INF treaty was lauded as a major safeguard for global security since they eliminated shorter-range missiles that take just a few minutes to reach their targets.

U.S. President Donald Trump previously threatened to pull out of the bilateral pact.

"They thought we would not notice", the Kremlin chief said, claiming the Pentagon has already earmarked an amount for the development of missiles banned by the treaty.

Pompeo said the U.S. government had raised the issue at least 30 times since 2013 with Moscow but had faced what he said were denials and counter-actions.

Mr Putin, in televised comments, accused the United States of blaming Russian Federation for violations as a pretext for Washington to exit the pact.

Russian Federation flatly denies undertaking any new development of land-based, intermediate-range Cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads and hitting European cities at short notice.

The treaty, negotiated by President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, prevents the USA and Russian Federation them from building or deploying nuclear-capable missiles and launch systems with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles.

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Stoltenberg said that although Russian Federation has a last chance to comply, "we must also start to prepare for a world without the treaty", which was the first to abolish a whole category of weapons.

The US Secretary of State told a meeting in Brussels: "In the light of these facts, the United States declares Russian Federation in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations - effective in 60 days - unless Russian Federation returns to full and verifiable compliance".

"We need to create a coordinated response to the actions of Russia", Klimkin said, adding that he raised "a set of practical steps with a number of proposals" at the meeting as to how NATO, Ukraine and Georgia might do that together.

NATO said it was now "up to Russia" to save the treaty.

"We call on Russian Federation to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance".

"It is illogical. It is unsafe as instead of discussing development goals we will find ourselves back in a situation of armed confrontation".

"Its range makes it a direct menace to Europe", he told a new conference after a meeting with his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts.

"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", he said.

"The Russian side has repeatedly declared that this is, to say the least, speculation", Zakharova said of the US allegation.

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