NATO Defence Ministers Looked at Several Potential Responses to INF Rupture - Chief

© Sputnik / Aleksei Vitvitsky / Go to the mediabankNATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is holding a press-conference.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is holding a press-conference. - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NATO defence ministers have looked at exercise programs as well as surveillance and intelligence as potential measures in response to the rupture of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday.

NATO shares the view of the United States, which believes that Russia is not compliant with the treaty. The United States suspended its participation in the treaty in February and said it would leave on August 2, unless Russia returned to compliance. Russia has rejected the allegations.

"Ministers have agreed today that NATO will respond should Russia fail to return to compliance [with the treaty]. NATO will remain measured and defensive in everything that we do. Ministers confirmed today that we have no intention to deploy new land-based nuclear missiles in Europe ... We must continue to maintain credible deterrents and defence... Therefore, ministers have also considered potential NATO measures, such as our exercise program, as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance," Stoltenberg told a press conference after a ministerial meeting.

NATO will also look further at its missile, air defence and conventional capabilities, Stoltenberg added.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by then-leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and then-US President Ronald Reagan. Under the agreement, the leaders agreed to destroy all cruise or ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (310 and 3,400 miles).

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