NATO and Russia are once again discussing the imminent end of the INF missile treaty. Both parties will sit together next week during a NATO-Russia Council at the headquarters of the Western Alliance, CEO Jens Stoltenberg announced.
In recent years, Moscow has stationed SSC-8 missiles on land that, according to NATO countries, are in conflict with the 1987 treaty. The US has set an ultimatum, otherwise, the treaty is canceled. “Russia has until August 2 to destroy them. There is still a chance to save the treaty, but it is getting smaller and smaller,” says Stoltenberg.
The Defence Ministers of the 29 NATO countries will meet on Wednesday and Thursday and will decide on countermeasures. “Our response will be defensive and moderate, but there will be no new missiles in Europe. We do not want a new arms race, but we need a credible defense and deterrence.” Stoltenberg pointed out that NATO countries are already responding to an increasingly assertive Russia, including increased defense spending.
At a previous NATO-Russia Council meeting in January, Moscow showed no willingness to comply with the INF treaty. Stoltenberg holds hope. “I strongly believe in dialogue, especially now that the relationship is so difficult.”