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    NATO Has Made it Clear it's Against Preserving INF Treaty - Ex-Turkish Envoy

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    Turkish Presidential Press Secretary Ibrahim Kalin has voiced concern over the United States and Russia's withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and called on both sides to negotiate. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier Moscow “will act in a mirror-like manner” with regards to the INF accord.

    Former Turkish Ambassador to Washington Faruk Logoglu has told Sputnik that the US decision on the withdrawal from the INF Treaty was a mistake and stressed that it has raised concerns about a resumption of an arms race:

    "The situation that's developing may pose a serious threat to the global security system. Having the INF Treaty was in the best interest of EU countries, since medium-range nuclear weapons are the main threat to Europe. Meanwhile, NATO expressed support for the US decision to withdraw from the Treaty. There is a clause which stipulates that the sides can come to an agreement within 6 months and, thus, preserve the previous agreements. But the real situation makes us think about an opposite scenario, and NATO has made this clear", said Logoglu.

    The Turkish diplomat pointed out that one of the reasons for the US withdrawal from the INF is Washington's concerns over China's development of new military technologies.

    "China is not a party to this agreement and as a result, especially in recent years, opportunities have opened up for Beijing to freely develop its armed forces, nuclear weapons and missiles, which it actively pursues. Therefore, Trump's concerns today are largely related to China's actions. His calls for the multilateralisation of the INF Treaty were addressed directly to Beijing, which, however, didn't pay any special attention to them, stressing that this issue should be resolved through dialogue between Russia and America. I do not think that China and Russia will listen to Trump's call for a new agreement. In my opinion, America made a big mistake by pulling out of the INF Treaty, since this step may create conditions for a new arms race", Logoglu explained.

    READ MORE: US' INF Treaty Withdrawal Raises ‘Fears of a Renewed Full-On Arms Race'

    According to the former ambassador, the North Atlantic Alliance, should focus on negotiating a broader accord that would involve all key players instead of just taking the US side in this matter.

    "I believe that NATO should take the initiative here, not declaring immediately its support for the US stance, but acting as a mediator between Russia, America, and China to develop a new format for a deal", he said.

    Speaking about Turkey's position on this issue, Logoglu noted that Ankara is currently trying to strengthen its own national defence, and it is in its own interest to help build a dialogue between NATO members that are troubled by the disagreements around the INF just as much as Turkey is.

    "Turkey, for national security reasons, is seeking to upgrade the level and quality of its weapons. I believe that it should also make efforts to establish a dialogue between those NATO countries, which, like Turkey itself, are concerned about what's happening with regard to the INF Treaty, and there are many such countries, among them, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the Baltic States", the former Turkish Ambassador to the US concluded.

    READ MORE: Russia to Exit INF Treaty After 6 Months in 'Mirror Response' to US — FM Lavrov

    The INF Treaty that was signed in 1987 between the US and the Soviet Union and banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium ranges between 310 and 3,400 miles (500 and 5,500 km).

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    Related:

    Hillary Clinton: Trump's INF Treaty Withdrawal is "Gift to Putin"
    China, Not Russia Real Reason Behind US Exit From INF Treaty – Indian Analyst
    Pentagon Official: No Plans to Develop New Missiles After End of INF Treaty
    US' INF Treaty Withdrawal Raises ‘Fears of a Renewed Full-On Arms Race'
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    Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), NATO, European Union, United States, Russia
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