18:28 GMT08 August 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's words that the alliance was ready for a military scenario to solve the problem of alleged Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty violations hinder constructive dialogue, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

    "Moscow was confused by the words of NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg in an interview with the Norwegian News Agency on NATO being ready for military measures to solve the dispute around the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty," the ministry said in a statement.

    "Attempts to conduct dialogue in the form of ultimatums, recalling Russia's 'last chance,' as Stoltenberg said, run counter to statements that saving the treaty is the alliance's priority. On the contrary, such statements hinder addressing the situation via professional dialogue," the ministry added.

    Stoltenberg has told the Norwegian News Agency that NATO was ready to use force if Russia misses the deadline of February 2 to remedy alleged violations of the treaty.

    Earlier in the month, in an interview with Germany's dpa new agency, Stoltenberg said that Russia had the last chance of complying with the INF Treaty.

    Moscow and Washington have repeatedly blamed each other for violating the 1987 nuclear pact, which banned ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 311 and 3,417 miles.

    READ MORE: Germany to Oppose New Missiles in Europe if US Scraps INF Treaty — Minister

    US President Donald Trump said in October he wanted to pull the country from the deal but was persuaded by European allies in December to give Russia a 60-day grace period until mid-February to comply.

    Russia has rejected the accusations. It has complained about US weapons in Europe that can fire cruise missiles at ranges that are in breach of the INF. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the United States of refusing to address mutual concerns together.


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