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Nato says Russia in breach of Cold War-era nuclear treaty as US suspends participation

Nato says Russia in breach of Cold War-era nuclear treaty as US suspends participation

Nato members have concluded that Russia is in violation of a landmark Cold War-era nuclear treaty, paving the way for the US to leave the pact. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States would suspend its treaty obligations in 60 days over the alleged violations. The six-month withdrawal period from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear…

Nato members have concluded that Russia is in violation of a landmark Cold War-era nuclear treaty, paving the way for the US to leave the pact.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States would suspend its treaty obligations in 60 days over the alleged violations. The six-month withdrawal period from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) would begin after this point.

Mr Pompeo said Russia had developed “multiple battalions of the SSC-8 missiles”, referring to the land-based, intermediate-range Cruise missile which also has the name of Novator 9M729.

Mr Pompeo claims that Moscow has been testing the missile since the mid-2000s.

“Its range makes it a direct menace to Europe,” he told a new conference after a meeting with his Nato counterparts. 

Foreign ministers from Nato member countries said in a statement that they “strongly support the finding of the United States that Russia is in material breach of its obligations” under the treaty.

Mr Pompeo said the world needed to face “Russian cheating” on its arms control obligations. He said that nations face a choice “stick our heads in the sand” or face Moscow.

The secretary of state said that Washington had raised the issue at least 30 times and faced “baseless accusations” from Russia in return.

Mr Pompeo said that the actions over the missile cannot be seen “in isolation” from Moscow’s actions around the world – including the conflict in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, the Salisbury poisoning in the UK and a number of other incidents.

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