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NATO affirms Russia violated decades-old treaty

Meetings of NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels - Doorstep statement by the NATO Secretary General

(Courtesy http://www.nato.int/)

Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen released a statement Wednesday on Russia’s alleged violation of the 1988-enforced Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, stating that Russia must now work “constructively to resolve this critical Treaty issue.”

“The United States has briefed the North Atlantic Council on its determination that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles,” the statement read.

The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement shortly after saying that there was no proof of the allegation and that the claims are “as baseless as all of Washington’s claims that have lately been reaching Moscow.”

The U.S. on July 28 said Russia violated the decades-old treaty with cruise missile tests that date back to 2008.

Aside from being slapped with new sanctions from the U.S. and EU over advancing conflict in Ukraine, Russia must now “preserve the viability of the INF Treaty by returning to full compliance in a verifiable manner.”

“The Treaty has a special place in history, as it required the verifiable elimination of an entire class of missiles possessed by the United States and the Soviet Union,” the statement said.

CNN reported that President Obama has also written President Putin a letter on the matter.

The New York Times first reported the suspected violation.

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