Putin threatens to develop nuclear missiles banned by US-Russia treaty
08 December, 2018, 22:00 | Author: Wade Massey
America's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have pressed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give diplomacy one more chance before pulling out of the deal, fearing a new arms race could be triggered in Europe.
"In that case we will also do this", he said referring to the missiles.
In Brussels, EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini urged Russian Federation and the United States to save the treaty, warning that Europe did not want to become a battlefield for global powers once again, as it had been during the Cold War.
"Allies have concluded that Russian Federation has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security", the Nato foreign ministers' statement read.
US President Donald Trump has previously said the country would leave the treaty because of Russian actions.
"We are against the destruction of this treaty".
Pompeo said there was no reason why the United States "should continue to cede this crucial military advantage" to rival powers.
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On Tuesday, the Western military alliance formally accused Russian Federation of breaking the treaty.
"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.
A joint statement from NATO foreign ministers said: "Allies have concluded that Russian Federation has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security".
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. In a statement Wednesday, Stoltenberg warned Russian Federation to cease its suspected violations of the 1987 Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces - known as the INF.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said it was "essential to act in a firm and united way", warning Moscow it would bear the responsibility if the treaty collapsed.
Putin at the time warned that abandoning the treaty and failure to extend another key arms control agreement known as the New START, would unleash a new arms race and put Europe in danger.
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