EU Security Cannot Be Entrusted to US After INF Suspension - German Lawmaker

© AP PhotoMissiles, SS-23 Destroyed. The 957th and last of the Soviet Union's SS-23 shorter range missiles
Missiles, SS-23 Destroyed. The 957th and last of the Soviet Union's SS-23 shorter range missiles - Sputnik International
BERLIN (Sputnik) - The United States can no longer be entrusted with the preservation of security in Europe in light of its decision to suspend its obligations under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Alexander Neu, a member of the German parliament, told Sputnik on Friday.

"The treaty is a cornerstone of the architecture of arms reduction of the 1980s-1990s. The Left [Die Linke] party advocates the treaty's rescue… We have to realize that the European security should be ensured by the Europeans themselves and not to delegate the security of our continent to the United States," Neu said.

According to the German lawmaker, if the United States finally pulls out from the treaty, the EU states should renounce the possibility to deploy the US medium-range and cruise missiles on the European territory.

The statement was made after earlier in the day US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty on Saturday and will begin a six-month withdrawal process unless Russia comes back into compliance with it.

READ MORE: Austrian Top Diplomat Regrets US Decision to Suspend INF Arms Treaty

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The decision did not come as a surprise: last October, US President Donald Trump announced his country’s intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty due to alleged violations by Russia. On December 4, Pompeo said that Russia had 60 days to start to comply with the agreement, or, otherwise, the United States could suspend its obligations under the treaty.

Russia has refuted allegations of breaching the agreement and complained that launchers of US defence systems in Europe are capable of firing cruise missiles at ranges banned by the INF accord. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has said that the overall responsibility for what had been happening with the treaty lied with the United States as it has taken an absolutely destructive position on it.

READ MORE: Germany's Merkel Vows to Continue INF Nuclear Arms Talks

The INF Treaty was signed between the United States and the Soviet Union back in 1987 and prohibited the development of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (from 311 to 3,317 miles).

READ MORE: Russia Deploying Additional 9M729 Missiles as US About to Leave INF — Report

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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