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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief claims alliance preparing defensive measures for 'INF-free world'

14 February 2019

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Wednesday that the military alliance is studying a range of options to deal with what it insists are Russian violations of a key missile treaty but that it wants to avoid sparking any arms race.

If Turkey does purchase Russian arms, it could put at risk the types of defenses other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies could have in the country, affect the inter-operability of defense systems and violate security and intelligence among alliance members, Hutchison said. "That is why the United States, with the full support of all NATO allies, has announced its intention to withdraw from the Treaty", the NATO chief claimed.

2 launched the six-month process of leaving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty it signed with the Soviet Union in 1987, insisting that a new Russian missile system violates the pact.

The INF bans production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometers (310-3,400 miles).

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Stoltenberg said ministers will meet Wednesday in Brussels to discuss the "steps North Atlantic Treaty Organisation should take to adapt to a world with more Russian missiles".

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Jan. 25, 2019.

"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.

"We do not intend to deploy new ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe".

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"It's important that we don't start hierarchising or excluding individual points now, but really leave the whole palette on the table", she told reporters.

"Moscow continues to develop and deploy several battalions of the SSC-8 missile", Mr 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 500 kilometers, and claims that US target-practice missiles and drones also break the treaty.

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He accused the U.S. of abandoning the agreement "to free itself of any constraints in the arms sphere (and) gain absolute military superiority", in a column published by the Russian newspaper Vedomosti.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief claims alliance preparing defensive measures for 'INF-free world'