Pompeo says US will suspend arms pact over Russia's 'cheating'

U.S. signals it will suspend nuclear treaty with Russia after NATO finding

US to suspend nuclear pact over alleged violations

In a news conference at that time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he believed that, despite Russia's insistence, "the most plausible assessment would be that Russian Federation is in violation of the treaty".

NATO leaders on Tuesday accused Russian Federation of failing to abide by the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, an agreement U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to withdraw the United States from unless Moscow complies.

"It has to be fully implemented, so I hope that the time that is there to work on preserving the treaty and achieving its full implementation can be used wisely from all sides, and we will definitely try to make our part to make sure this happens".

The United States warned Russian Federation on Tuesday it will withdraw from a major Cold War treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms if Moscow does not dismantle missiles that Washington says breach it within 60 days.

Accusing Russia of "cheating at its arms control obligations", Pompeo said a six-month notice period for leaving the treaty would start in 60 days.

Amid heightened tensions between Moscow and the West, U.S. President Donald Trump in October vowed to abandon the treaty, saying Russian Federation had been violating it with a new missile system.

Mr Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said: "If the Americans ultimately withdraw from that treaty, there is a high risk, although now they deny it, that they will deploy these missiles in Europe".

DW's correspondent at NATO Teri Schultz said the USA had allowed the 60-day concession in response to European concerns over an immediate withdrawal and followed direct intervention by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to some reports, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, convinced Trump at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires to delay formal withdrawal proceedings until the new year.

"They are not going to change course on the basis of a US threat to withdraw", Kimball said.

Pompeo said Russia's violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty undermine American national security and as such, the U.S. should not be "constrained" by a treaty that hampers its ability to respond.

"We need to create a coordinated response to the actions of Russia", Klimkin said, adding that he raised "a set of practical steps with a number of proposals" at the meeting as to how NATO, Ukraine and Georgia might do that together.

Ukrainian authorities said Tuesday that shipping traffic has resumed on the Sea, but a senior U.S. State Department official said that at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "no one would see that as a satisfactory move or the end of the matter".

"We really felt that the world was moving forward when the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987 agreed", he said.

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