Deadline set for Russia to comply with nuclear treaty or face US withdrawal

World Today

Deadline set for Russia to comply with nuclear treaty to avoid US withdrawal

The U.S. said it will suspend its obligations under a Cold-War nuclear pact with Russia in 60 days claiming Moscow is guilty of violating it – allegations the Kremlin denies.

CGTN’s Jack Parrock explains the announcement made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while attending a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

The U.S. said it will no longer put up with Russian claims that Moscow hasn’t developed a new intermediate-range missile system — banned under the terms of a 1987 nuclear pact between the nations. It’s a move set to intensify tensions between Russia and the United States.

“The United States today declares it has found Russia in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations as a remedy effective in 60 days unless Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

NATO alliance members agree that Russia frequently violates the 30-year-old Cold War pact between Washington and Moscow to completely remove intermediate-range nuclear missiles from their arsenals.

Arms Control Association – The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty at a Glance – 2018-10-24

They said it’s now down to Russia to save the deal by proving it’s not in breach. NATO ministers also discussed the confrontations in the Azov Sea more than a week ago.

Russia is still holding 24 Ukrainian soldiers captive after a military clash between Navies.

Ukrainian and Georgian ministers were welcomed to NATO HQ during this meeting as a show of support for the former Soviet states – a move which won’t be appreciated in Moscow.

NATO ships have spent 120 days patrolling the Black Sea this year. Now, Ukraine is calling a “comprehensive answer” to Russian aggression while some in Europe are calling for action.

“Either NATO or individual member states could give Ukraine more equipment to be able to defend itself,” Amanda Paul with the European Policy Center said.

“I mean high-level equipment, for example, anti-ship missiles could be put on the land. This would send a strong signal to the Russians.”

Russia accuses Ukraine of provocation for the clashes in the Azov Sea – labeling the shots it fired at Ukrainian ships a ‘retaliation.’

For now, NATO isn’t going further than strong statements against Russia. Any shift in military strategy would require the assent of U.S. President Donald Trump.