16:50 GMT02 August 2021
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    Earlier in the month, Russian President Vladimir Putin enacted the official suspension of Russia's participation in the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) Treaty, several months after the US announced its exit from the deal.

    NATO will respond "with credible & effective deterrence" if Russia exits the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) Treaty, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said as quoted by the bloc's Press Officer Dylan P. White‏.

    ​The statement comes hot on the heels of a Russian Foreign Ministry statement saying that the European Union should speak to the US regarding the effort to save the treaty instead of blindly following Washington's position and blaming Russia.

    The ministry added that Russia's proposals to save the treaty were still on the table.

    On 3 July, Russian President Vladimir Putin enacted the official suspension of the country's participation in the 1987 INF Treaty.

    The move came half a year after US President Donald Trump stated on 2 February that the US was leaving the INF Treaty, citing Russia's alleged violation of the deal. The United States has in particular repeatedly voiced concern over Russia's 9M729 missile, which, according to Washington, violates the provisions of the nuclear accord. 

    Russia, for its part, has denied all allegations, pledging to act proportionally. Moscow then took an unprecedented step and declassified key details about the 9M729's capabilities, showing the rocket itself to military attaches and the press at a military warehouse.

    At the same time, Russia accused the US of ignoring its own commitments under the pact, including the unlawful deployment of combat drones, the development of US intermediate-range missiles under the guise of target missiles for its nuclear shield, and the construction of ground-based Aegis Ashore missile shield facilities in Poland and Romania.

    Russia, NATO, INF Treaty, Jens Stoltenberg
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