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    NATO Chief Rules Out Nuclear Missile Deployment to Europe

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday ruled out deploying ground-based nuclear missiles to Europe, at a press conference in Warsaw, Poland.

    He said the 29-nation alliance had already started planning for a world without the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

    "It is too early to say the outcome of this process in NATO. But what I can say is that our response will be measured, it will be coordinated as a NATO Alliance, and we don’t have any intentions of deploying new nuclear missiles, land-based missiles, in Europe," Stoltenberg said.

    The US decision to suspend participation in the INF has prompted concerns of its European allies, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warning that Europe would be most vulnerable to any negative consequences of the potential collapse of the deal.

    READ MORE: UN Warns EU to Be Most Affected by Possible INF Treaty Collapse

    Russia-US Spat Over the INF

    The United States formally suspended its obligations under the 1987 INF Treaty on February 2 and triggered the six-month withdrawal process, citing alleged Moscow's violation of the deal. The agreement bans all ground-launched missiles, conventional or nuclear, with ranges of 310 to 3,400 miles.

    READ MORE: Former UN Arms Inspector: Europe as Much to Blame for Demise of INF Treaty as US

    A months after, on 4 March Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree suspending Russia's obligations under the INF Treaty until the United States resumes its compliance with the agreement. Putin's decree came into effect on the day it was signed.

    Putin said Moscow did not want a costly arms race but ruled out any new talks on arms controls, saying all earlier proposals remained on the table.

    Tags:
    Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), INF treaty, NATO, Europe
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