NATO has warned that European countries may have to face living in a new reality following the scrapping of the long-standing nuclear treaty between Russia and the United States.
In the latest chapter of the war of words over the treaty, the alliance’s Secretary General said despite the dismantling of the agreement, NATO’s commitment to shared defence remained strong.
Speaking at a Brussels commemoration event for the September 11 attacks, Jens Stoltenberg said Europe needs to prepare for a world where Russia could place nuclear-capable missiles on its doorstep.
“What we are doing in NATO now is that we are adapting to a world without the INF Treaty, with more Russian missiles,” he said.
“We will do that in a coordinated, in a defensive way, but we have to make sure that we maintain credible defence also in a world where the INF treaty doesn’t exist anymore and where Russia has deployed new nuclear-capable missiles in Europe.”
The United States formally withdrew from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on August 2, after accusing Moscow of violating it, a charge dismissed by the Kremlin.
The pact had prohibited land-based missiles with a range of 310-3,400 miles, reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.