Russia accuses NATO of using INF dispute to cover up internal crisis
12 Jan 2019, 02:49 ( 10 days ago)
Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg's statements that NATO is ready to resort to military measures for settling the problem of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty are aimed at distracting attentions from a crisis within the alliance, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.
"The NATO secretary general's statements are just another attempt to cite the imaginary Russian threat in order to cover up things that are clear to everyone - a crisis emerged within the Alliance following the U.S. decision to pull out of the (INF) Treaty, which is crucial for European and global security," the ministry said in a statement.
Stoltenberg said in a recent interview with Norwegian News Agency that NATO had presented to Russia a ultimatum to remedy its alleged violations of the INF treaty by February 2. He said the alliance was ready to use force if Russia misses the deadline, although dialogue with Russia is still the preferred option.
"Attempts to conduct dialogue in the form of ultimatums, recalling Russia's 'last chance,' as Stoltenberg said, run counter to statements that saving the treaty is the alliance's priority. On the contrary, such statements impede efforts to resolve the situation through professional dialogue," the ministry said.
In October, U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington would pull out of the INF Treaty on account of Russia's alleged breach of the agreement, which Moscow has repeatedly denied, saying that it has been making every effort to maintain the arms control deal.