Russia's threats to target NATO member states are unacceptable
Moscow's statements threatening to target NATO member states if U.S. missiles prohibited by the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty are deployed there are unacceptable, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
"Russian statements threatening to target Allies are unacceptable and counterproductive," Stoltenberg said in an interview with Interfax.
"The 9M729 (NATO reporting name SSC-8) missile system developed and deployed by Russia violates the INF Treaty, and poses a significant risk to our security," he said.
"These missiles are mobile and hard to detect. They can reach European cities with little warning, carrying conventional or nuclear warheads, and they lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons," Stoltenberg said.
"The United States and other Allies have engaged with Russia about this missile system for several years," he said.
"Unfortunately, Russia has not shown any willingness to return to compliance. That is why the United States, with the full support of all NATO Allies, has announced its intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty," he said.
"This will take several months, so Russia still has a chance to come back into compliance. We call on Russia to take this opportunity," he said.
The full text of the interview will appear at www.interfax.com.