NATO Backs US Plan to Research Building Missiles Banned by Cold War-era Pact
Washington, Dec 15: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO or Friday backed the United States’ plan to research into building missiles banned by a Cold War-era pact. This is apparently a plan to pressurise Russia into abandoning the development of such weapons.
The Cold War-era pact prohibits the development of such missiles, with a range of about 300 to 3,400 miles, but Washington believes that Russia has been violating the rules of the pact since long. On Thursday, Russia President Vladimir Putin said Washington of starting a campaign to destroy it.
“The United States is not walking away from the INF Treaty.The research activities are not violating the INF Treaty,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg while issuing a statement of support, along with other ambassadors of NATO, to the United States and the treaty.
Stoltenberg also said that Washington had informed him of their doubts that the Russians are violating the treaty with their development of the SSC-8 missile cruise missile. NATO, as a whole, however, has not said that Russia is violating the treaty and developing the banned missiles.
“Allies have identified a Russian missile system that raises serious concerns,” he said.
The treaty, signed in 1987, amid various controversies including Soviet Union’s deployment of SS-20 Saber missiles. The INF Treaty bans ground-launched cruise missiles but not sea or air-launched weapons. This is one of the reasons the treaty is called a controversial one. Another one includes not prohibiting China from developing intermediate, ground-launched weapons.