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'No plans' for new US missiles in Europe despite treaty pullout

AFP  |  Brussels 

The US has "no plans" to deploy new missiles to Europe, a senior said Thursday, despite announcing it will pull out of a landmark nuclear treaty with

Last month's decision by Donald Trump, to terminate US participation in the (INF) sparked alarm from some European countries and warnings from the Kremlin of a new arms race.

says has been violating the treaty since 2013 with a new missile system and repeated attempts to persuade to come back into compliance have been met with silence or obfuscation.

While Trump has signalled the US will pull out, officials said that as yet no legal steps have been taken to put the decision into effect and American officials are currently in to consult allies and try to reassure them.

A senior administration told reporters in that Russian Vladimir Putin's allegation that is stoking a new arms race was unfounded, saying "there is only one and that's -- they've been building these missiles for five years as fast as they can".

"We have no plans to deploy anything new to Europe," the said, stressing that in particular there were no plans for new US to come to

However the official did not rule out possible future deployments.

The US and NATO say Russia's 9M729 missile programme, also known by the designation SSC-8, breaches the INF, which prohibits ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres.

The agreement, signed by then US and ended an alarming arms build-up in triggered by Moscow's deployment of SS-20 nuclear missiles targeting Western European capitals.

US officials say that Russia has effectively pulled out of the INF already, and it would undermine America's ability to support Europe's defence if it remained unilaterally committed to the treaty.

But they insist the US remains committed to other global mechanisms, pointing to recent talks with Russia on the New START treaty aimed at reducing stockpiles of strategic nuclear warheads.

The INF may come up when Trump and Putin meet in at the weekend for World I centenary events, where Russian officials say they are expected to speak "briefly".

After what he called "productive" talks with Putin on arms reduction in last month, Trump's said the INF was "a Cold-bilateral treaty in a multipolar world" that did not cover the activities of countries such as or

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

First Published: Fri, November 09 2018. 00:25 IST
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