The U.S. and its NATO allies are claiming that Russia is in danger of violating a treaty that helped to end the Cold War with the development of nuclear capable missile systems.
“Allies have identified a Russian missile system that raises serious concerns,” the body said in a statement Friday. “NATO urges Russia to address these concerns in a substantial and transparent way, and actively engage in a technical dialogue with the United States.”
At the heart of the concerns is the the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Here’s a little background from Canada’s Globe and Mail:
U.S.-led NATO’s concerns are likely to further strain relations between Moscow and the West that are already at a low over Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea, Western sanctions on the Russian economy and U.S. accusations that Moscow used computer hackers to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Moscow denies that it interfered in the election.
The NATO statement follows a meeting between Russia and the United States in Geneva this week to mark the 30th anniversary of the treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union.
According to an April U.S. State Department report, Washington determined in 2016 that Russia was in violation of its treaty obligations “not to possess, produce, or flight-test” a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km (310-3,417 miles), “or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.”
U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison says the Trump administration is currently joining leaders from other NATO countries in “speaking to Russia with one voice about its dangerous and destabilizing behavior.”