Vastavam web: The United States delivered Russia a 60-day ultimatum on Tuesday to come clean about what Washington says is a violation of a arms control treaty that keeps missiles out of Europe. NATO allies led by Germany pressed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting in Brussels to give diplomacy one last chance before Washington pulls out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, fearing a new arms race in Europe.
Russia denies undertaking any such development of land-based, intermediate-range Cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads and hitting European cities at short notice. While NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said there would now be an intense diplomatic push to try to convince Russia to give up what Pompeo said were “multiple battalions of the SSC-8 missiles”, Washington is set to pull out in February.
Pompeo said the U.S. government had raised the issue at least 30 times since 2013 with Moscow but had faced what he said were denials and counter-actions.
“In the light of these facts, the United States declares Russia in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations effective in 60 days unless Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance,” Pompeo said. Germany, the Netherlands and Belgian are concerned about the deployment of U.S. missiles in Europe, as happened in the 1980s. U.S. Cruise and Pershing missiles deployed in Britain and West Germany were removed as a result of the treaty, while the Soviet Union pulled back its SS-20s out of European range.