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US threatens termination of INF treaty, demands Russia's compliance within 60 days

ANI  |  Brussels [Belgium] 

fired a warning of suspending the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty if did not adhere with the accord within 60 days.

Speaking during a NATO meeting here, Pompeo said that when the was signed in 1987, it represented a "good-faith effort between two rivals to de-escalate the threat of nuclear war".

"But whatever successes this treaty helped produce, today we must confront Russian cheating on its arms control obligations. As I told my fellow ministers earlier today, our nations have a choice. We either bury our in the sand or we take common-sense action in response to Russia's flagrant disregard for the express terms of the Treaty," Pompeo said during a press briefing.

The of State further stated there have been at least 30 instances since 2013 itself where the US has flagged Russia's non-compliance with the treaty and stressed that "a failure to return to compliance would have consequences".

"The today declares it has found in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations as a remedy effective in 60 days unless returns to full and verifiable compliance," Pompeo said.

The warning comes as a milder version of Donald Trump's announcement in October stating he had decided to "terminate the agreement," reported.

The agreement banned the production and use of nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with a range of 500 to 5, 500 kilometres. The treaty has been the base for Europe's security over three decades, although Trump has stated that it affords a military advantage over the US as it is not bound by the treaty.

Addressing the issue of other states like and Iran, apart from China, being free to build intermediate-range missiles, Pompeo said, "There is no reason the should continue to cede this crucial military advantage to revisionist powers like China, in particular when these weapons are being used to threaten and coerce the United States and its allies in "

The INF agreement was a turning point in the as it led to the elimination of over 2,600 missiles and ended the long-standing nuclear stand-off between East and Trump's announcement of terminating the treaty raised concerns of a revival of tensions.

"I regret that we now most likely will see the end of the INF Treaty. We really felt that the was moving forward when the and the United States in 1987 agreed," NATO said.

While the US' withdrawal was slated to go into effect on Tuesday, European leaders including German convinced Trump for a postponement during the recently concluded Summit in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 07:29 IST