North Atlantic Treaty Organisation won't station more nuclear missiles in Europe despite threat from Russian Federation

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During a gathering of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, Mr Stoltenberg urged Russian Federation to follow the rules of the treaty which, signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and the president of the then-USSR Mikhail Gorbachev, banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium ranges.

The Pentagon believes that Russia's ground-fired Novator 9M729 cruise missile - known in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation parlance as the SSC-8 - could give Moscow the ability to launch a nuclear strike in Europe with little or no notice.

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.

The collapse of the 1987 treaty, which banned ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres, has sparked fears of a new arms race in Europe.

He said they will today discuss "what 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.

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


While Washington and Moscow are at odds over the INF, the treaty does nothing to constrain China, whose fast-growing military depends on medium-range missiles as a key aspect of its defense strategy.

Ruling out the adoption of nuclear weapons at this stage, Mr Stoltenberg said: "Any steps we take will be coordinated, measured and defensive". Russian Federation denies it is in contravention and has announced that it will pull out too.

Stoltenberg ruled out deploying new nuclear land-based weapon systems in Europe, but added their were other choices, including "conventional and other options".

European NATO members are especially keen to avoid any nuclear buildup and a repeat of the missile crisis in the 1980s.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been adamant that Turkey would take the Russian missile system, saying traditional allies in the West failed to meet his country's defensive needs.

But Stoltenberg said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation had no intention of deploying "new nuclear land-based weapons systems in Europe".

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