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NATO SecGen: We must prepare for a world without the INF treaty

Klaus Iohannis NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday in Bucharest that an agreement on maintaining the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has not been reached yet, as Russia has unveiled a new type of missile that violates this treaty.

President [Klaus] Iohannis and I also discussed the INF Treaty. Russia has deployed a new type of missile in violation of the treaty. This missile, the SSC-8, is nuclear capable, hard to detect and able reach European cities. At the NATO foreign ministers meeting in December, the US, which certainly supports all the allies, announced they will give Russia 60 days to return to compliance with the INF treaty. That period will end in two days. Unfortunately, we see no sign of progress in this direction, so we must prepare for a world without the INF treaty. NATO's military authorities have started looking into the consequences, Jens Stoltenberg said at the Cotroceni Palace, at the end of his meeting with President Klaus Iohannis.

He said the North Atlantic Alliance must maintain credible and effective deterrence and defense, but must also consider new initiatives, because a new arms race would be in nobody's interests.

Stoltenberg also mentioned that the situation in Afghanistan was also discussed during the meeting with President Klaus Iohannis.

All our allies support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. We welcome the efforts of the US Special Representative, (...) this was one of the main topics I discussed with Secretary Pompeo last weekend. NATO continues to help create the conditions for a peaceful settlement. There are many countries that contribute to these efforts. (...) We came in together, and we stay together. When the time is right, we will draw down our forces together. Afghanistan will be an important issue for a meeting of NATO Defense ministers in Brussels in February, the NATO Secretary General pointed out.

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