NATO chief says time is running out to save INF treaty

REUTERS 27/06/2019 15:00 NATO-DEFENCE/ NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels REUTERS (MALARIA) NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels 27/06/2019 -Copyright
REUTERS/Francois Walschaerts

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that time is really running out to save a key nuclear missile treaty with Russia. If Russia continues to disobey the intermediate-range nuclear force treaty after 2nd August deadline, it can expect “measured, defensive” response by NATO.

The INF treaty collapse

The INF treaty crumpled in February when the United States government declared that it will stop the agreement and actually it is a copied movement as Russia attempted first in March. If both of these countries do not change the course, the agreement will be automatically officially invalid by August 2019. Russia has declared its development of a new nuclear missile. And it is “clear violation of the treaty” according to Stoltenberg. NATO chief is hoping that Russia will return to fulfillment but he also mentioned that he sees “no signs whatsoever”. On this concern Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general said, “We have to be prepared for a world without the INF treaty and with more Russian missiles”. “This is serious. The INF treaty has been a cornerstone in arms control for decades and now we see the demise of the treaty,” he added.

According to the officials Moscow has continually disallowed western allegations and that is Russia has organized ground-launched cruise-missile systems in breach of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

During the beginning of this year, the United States has given formal notice that it would withdraw from the agreement as of on 2nd August if Russia did not start demolishing the missile in question. NATO secretary-general has also added its priority has been to get Moscow to come back to compliance but there is no positive sign that Russia is planning to do.

The reaction of the United States

The United States President Donald Trump declared that his country would suspend its obligation under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in February due to Russia’s disobeying activities.

The United States said that it would remove Turkey from its F-35 fighter jet program because Ankara has tried to build a close connection to Moscow. And it is automatically rising tension between the US and Turkey.

Mr. Stoltenberg said, “It is a serious issue because it is a serious disagreement which involves two important allies“. He also praised efforts among the members to increase their defense budget to an aim of two percent of their budgets. Donald Trump, the United States President has continually asked other members to donate more to the organization in recent years. “We have turned a corner – the picture is much better than it was just a few years ago, and I am quite optimistic that allies will continue to invest more,” he added. It is expected that eight member states will reach the aim in 2019. Along with these, Mr. Trump has also asked US allies to keep away from the technologies provided by Huawei, a Chinese tech firm and arguing that this company is a security risk but China denies.

Mr. Stoltenberg said that alliance is drawing new guidelines to handle the issue so that members can have “minimum agreed standards or guidelines for how to deal with these challenges“.

Related: US-Iran Tensions: Why the US will not Wage War on Iran!

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