04:52 GMT20 January 2021
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    Jens Stoltenberg put the responsibility for saving the dying treaty on Moscow, despite the fact it was Washington who unilaterally withdrew from the agreement earlier this year and Russia’s assertion that Washington also violated the nuclear agreement.

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance should prepare for a world without the INF Treaty and “more Russian missiles” because Moscow has given “no signs whatsoever” it will change its position on the INF, the BBC reported Wednesday.

    "Therefore we have to be prepared for a world without the INF Treaty and with more Russian missiles", he said.

    Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Soviet-era treaty that banned ground-based nuclear missiles with a range of 500 to 5,000 kilometers, claiming the secretive Russian missile 9M729 violated the terms of the INF. Moscow maintains that the 9M729 has a maximum range of 480 kilometers and denies it violates the terms of the agreement.

    Russia accuses Washington of being in violation of the treaty, saying its Aegis Ashore missile defence systems deployed in Europe can fire cruise missiles without additional refurbishing. Moscow says US strike drones that have an operational range of 1,100 kilometers are very similar in nature to cruise missiles.

    In response to the US withdrawal, Russia suspended its participation in the agreement.

    NATO has nonetheless put all responsibility on Moscow for the failure of the treaty and has called on Russia to save the deal.

    Stoltenberg reiterated that if Russia takes no action by 2 August, when the US decision to withdraw officially comes into effect, the alliance will respond in a “measured, defensive” way, saying that “conventional air and missile defence, new exercises and readiness of forces, and new arms control initiatives” could form part of that response, according to the BBC.


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    Nuclear War Threshold in Europe to Hit Critical Drop If INF Treaty Dies - Think Tank
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    Russia, NATO, Jens Stoltenberg
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