On Friday, January 25, in Brussels, a meeting of representatives of NATO countries and Russia on the issue of compliance with the terms of the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range missiles (INF Treaty). As stated at the end of the meeting the NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, the parties failed to negotiate, because “Russia has not shown willingness to change its position.”
NATO officials demanded Russia to eliminate cruise missiles of type “the Innovator 9М729” as their presence, in Washington’s opinion, violates provisions of the Treaty of 1987. This land-based missiles is part of the complex “Iskander-M”. American experts believe that the “Innovator” can hit a target at a distance of from 500 to 1,500 km from the Russian side claims that the range of the cruise missile does not exceed 500 km.
The Treaty, signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan in 1987, provides for the destruction of all systems of ballistic and cruise land-based missiles of medium and shorter-range missiles. In October 2018, the American President Donald trump said that in February 2019, States could withdraw from the INF Treaty unilaterally if Russia starts to comply with the terms of the agreement. 16 January, foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov has declared its readiness to “work to save the INF Treaty” and invited the American experts to see the “Innovator 9М729”, however they do not accept the invitation.
Stoltenberg also said that in case of breaking the INF Treaty, NATO will begin work on a new initiative to monitor missile weapons. The organization will take into account the availability of such weapons from Iran, China and North Korea.