United States gives Russian Federation 60 days to comply with nuclear treaty

United States gives Russian Federation 60 days to comply with nuclear treaty

NATO and the United States say the 9M279 - also known by the designation SSC-8 - violates the INF treaty, which banned ground-launched missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.

"It makes no sense for the United States to remain in a treaty that constrains our ability to respond to Russia's violations", Pompeo said on Tuesday after meeting with NATO foreign ministers.

In response to Russia's alleged violation of INF treaty, United States says it will suspend its obligations under a landmark nuclear treaty in 60 days.

The US won strong backing for its position from the rest of the NATO allies, who said in a joint statement that it was "now up to Russian Federation to preserve the INF treaty".

"In light of these facts, today, America will announce it finds Russian Federation in violation of the treaty and we will remove ourselves from the treaty in 60 days unless Russian Federation returns to compliance", he said.

Mr Pompeo said Russian Federation poses a "direct menace" to the continent for allegedly developing cruise missiles that can be launched from land carrying nuclear warheads - potentially hitting European cities at short notice.

"We would welcome a Russian change of heart, a change in direction, the destruction of their program, and their followed-on continuance of the terms of the treaty, and so over the next 60 days they have every chance to do so", he said.

DW's correspondent at NATO Teri Schultz said the USA had allowed the 60-day concession in response to European concerns over an immediate withdrawal and followed direct intervention by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a NATO meeting Tuesday that Washington would suspend its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days due to Russia's alleged "cheating".

The NATO partners on Tuesday also held talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.

If Russia does not comply within the 60-day deadline, the United States will begin the six-month process of formally withdrawing from the INF treaty.

The INF was a bilateral treaty between the United States and the then Soviet Union, so it puts no restrictions on other major military actors like China.

"Russia must return to full and verifiable compliance; Russia's failure to do so will result in the demise of the INF Treaty", Pompeo told reporters.

Mr Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said: "If the Americans ultimately withdraw from that treaty, there is a high risk, although now they deny it, that they will deploy these missiles in Europe".

Germany, the Netherlands and Belgian are concerned about the deployment of U.S. missiles in Europe, as happened in the 1980s.

"Russia's violation of the INF Treaty erodes the foundations of effective arms control and undermines Allied security".

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