Brussels: NATO has outlined that it has no plans to deploy new ground-based systems with nuclear weapons in Europe if the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is terminated.
The alliance’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, had earlier put forth that preparations were underway to deal with the probable situation of the treaty ending, reports Sputnik.
This comes after the United States announced that it was suspending its obligations under the arms control treaty from February 2 due to violations by Russia. This triggered a mirrored response from Moscow. Both the countries will officially exit in six months if efforts are not made towards a thaw in the impasse.
Meanwhile, NATO is geared to hold its meeting of Ministers of Defence in Brussels on February 13 and 14, where there will be a briefing on “Arms Control and INF Treaty” on Wednesday.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who had signed the treaty with former US President Ronald Reagan in 1987, has urged the United States to hold talks with Russia to prevent a “destabilisation of the global strategic situation and a new arms race” in the wake of the suspension of the Cold War-era treaty.
The accord, sealed in the waning days of the Soviet Union in 1987, bans ground-launched missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.