EU Hopes INF Treaty May Still Be Preserved - Mogherini

© AFP 2022 / Thierry Charlier EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini speaks to the press
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini speaks to the press - Sputnik International
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Union hopes that there is still a way to preserve the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) and fully implement it, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Wednesday.

"Europe has benefited from INF Treaty, even if we are not in it… We continue to hope that there is a way to maintain it and to fully implement it, and the two things should go hand-in-hand, for sure. We will continue discussing this also with NATO Secretary General [Jens] Stoltenberg, as we have done during the NATO ministerial meetings in the last months," she said, answering whether it was planned to discuss the fate of the INF Treaty.

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Stoltenberg is expected at the talks in Bucharest, Mogherini added.

Mogherini arrived in Bucharest, where informal talks between the heads of the EU member states' foreign and defense ministries will take place.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by then leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and then US President Ronald Reagan. The leaders agreed to destroy all cruise or ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310 and 3,400 miles).

The United States has repeatedly accused Moscow of INF Treaty violations. In particular, US officials have voiced concern over Russia's 9M729 missile, which, according to Washington, violates the provisions of the nuclear agreement.

READ MORE: NATO Has Been Preparing For Collapse of INF Treaty for Months — Report

Russia has refuted allegations of being in breach of the agreement and complained that launchers on US defense systems in Europe are capable of firing cruise missiles at ranges banned by the INF accord.

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