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NATO: Russia must release Ukrainian vessels, sailors

IANS  |  Brussels 

The of NATO said on Monday that needed to take immediate action in order to comply with a 1987 arms agreement aimed at eliminating intermediate and shorter-range missiles and asked it to release Ukrainian sailors and ships amid tensions between and

Speaking to the press ahead of a two-day foreign ministers meeting set to take place in from Tuesday, said had put the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) treaty, which got rid of "an entire category of weapons", in jeopardy.

"has developed, produced and deployed a new missile," Stoltenberg was cited as saying by news. "It is mobile and hard to detect. It is nuclear capable. And it could reach European cities, with little or no warning."

"Russia must take immediate steps to ensure full compliance with the INF Treaty. In a transparent and verifiable way," he added.

Stoltenberg said the alliance was a "for arms control" because it made the world safer.

He touched on the recent escalation of tensions between Russia and after Russian forces seized three Ukrainian vessels in the and detained sailors.

"Russia must release the Ukrainian sailors and ships," he said, adding that and civilian vessels "have the right to navigate through the and the Sea of Azov".

Stoltenberg said NATO sought dialogue with Russia and wanted to improve relations. "But to make this possible, Russia must fully comply with its international commitments," he added.



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First Published: Mon, December 03 2018. 18:34 IST