NATO holds Russia responsible for US decision to scrap INF Treaty
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has laid responsibility on Russia for the US decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), noting that Moscow 'highly likely' violates this agreement, NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu said, TASS reports.
"NATO Allies have repeatedly raised their concerns about Russia's lack of respect for its international commitments, including for the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was concluded in 1987 between the United States and the Soviet Union. At the NATO Summit in July [in Brussels], Allies stressed that the United States is in compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty, while a pattern of behavior over many years has led to widespread doubts about Russian compliance," Lungescu said.
The spokesperson also recalled that in its statement after the Brussels summit, NATO voiced concerns over Russia’s 9M729 missile system. "After years of denials and obfuscation, Russia recently acknowledged the existence of the missile system without providing the necessary transparency and explanation. In the absence of any credible answer from Russia on this new missile, Allies believe that the most plausible assessment would be that Russia is in violation of the INF Treaty," she said.
The alliance continues consultations on this issue, which was discussed at the NATO defense ministers’ meeting in October. The sides noted there that "allies have made efforts over many years to engage Russia on this issue, in bilateral and multilateral formats."