North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief says allies keen to avoid arms race with Russian Federation

Would Your Portfolio Survive a Nuclear Incident

Would Your Portfolio Survive a Nuclear Incident

Stoltenberg called on Russian Federation to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which the alliance insists Russian Federation violated by developing a new missile system Moscow calls Novator 9M729.

NATO's secretary-general warned Tuesday that the military alliance will respond to what it insists are Russia's violation of a key Cold War-era treaty but will not station more nuclear missiles in Europe.

Mr Stoltenberg reiterated Russian Federation has breached the treaty multiple times, saying: "All European allies agree with the United States because Russian Federation has violated the treaty for several years".

The two-day meeting in Brussels is the first chance for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ministers to debate what steps the alliance will take to bolster its defence against new Russian medium-range missiles.

He said they will today discuss "what steps North Atlantic Treaty Organisation should take to adapt to a world with more Russian missiles".

The U.S. began the six-month process of withdrawing from the treaty on February 2, claiming Russia's missile system violates the treaty's range requirements.

President Vladimir Putin a day later said Moscow would also abandon the accord, which restricts the deployment of missiles with a range of 500 kilometers (311 miles) to 5,500 kilometers.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies made a decision to deploy United States cruise and Pershing 2 ballistic missiles in Europe in 1983 as negotiations with Moscow faltered over its stationing of SS-20 missiles in eastern Europe.

"Then of course we have a wide range of other options, conventional and other options, but I will not speculate on them now", Stoltenberg said.

"I mean that it's not just about purely military issues, but also about economic issues, about political issues". "We will take our time".

"Moscow continues to develop and deploy several battalions of the SSC-8 missile", Stoltenberg said.

"They are deploying more and more of the new nuclear capable missiles in Europe". Russian Federation insists it has a range of less than 500km, and claims USA target-practice missiles and drones also break the treaty.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader who signed the INF treaty with then U.S. president Ronald Reagan, launched a stinging attack on Washington over its exit from the pact on Wednesday.

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