NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia is “at risk” to unleash a new nuclear arms race in the European region and urged the country to be transparent in its military projects and maneuvers.
“The United States as one of the parties of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) has established that Russia threatens the existence of the treaty and is planning to develop and test a new medium-range missile. Russia, by modernizing its arsenal of nuclear weapons and conducting nuclear drills, risks to unleash the new nuclear arms race in Europe,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with the Bild newspaper late on Sunday.
The alliance’s chief went on to urge Russia to comply with the INF treaty, according to the newspaper.
The 1987 INF Treaty outlines destruction of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (311 to 3,317 miles), their launchers and associated support structures and support equipment.
The United States and Russia have repeatedly accused each other of violating the treaty.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in December that the United States had de facto withdrawn from the treaty, when it deployed the missile launch systems in Romania, so all accusations were intended to present Russia as a treaty violator and use this as a reason for an official withdrawal from the agreement.
Moscow has no intention to withdraw from any treaty shaping the international security, Putin stressed.