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Pentagon Chief: Russia in Violation of Cold War-era Arms Treaty

Pentagon Chief: Russia in Violation of Cold War-era Arms Treaty”

Washington believes that Moscow has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, U.S. Secretary Defense James Mattis said on Thursday.

NATO defence ministers have addressed Russia's "violations" of a key arms control treaty and discussed ways to bring Moscow back into compliance, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday.

Signed in 1987, the treaty, known as the INF, eliminated an entire class of cruise and ballistic missiles in Europe and is considered a bedrock treaty for U.S.

"This is absolutely necessary to sustain confidence in the arms-control agreement", he added. The accord prohibits the deployment of land-based US and Russian short- and intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

Moscow has accused America of its own violations of the treaty, saying the US Patriot missile system in Poland and Romania could be tailored if necessary to shoot missiles at Russian Federation.

Mattis, who added that several other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations also had evidence Russian Federation was not in compliance, said he and the other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense ministers would have discussions with Russian Federation to try to resolve the issue.

Moscow is also suspected of interfering in last year's USA presidential election and Britain's Brexit vote, and Scaparrotti said he was concerned by "Russian malign influence" in other countries. Moscow has also been accused of trying to influence votes in France, Germany, and other European countries.

When asked if he had particular concerns about the Catalan crisis undermining key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Spain, Scaparrotti said "we've seen these kinds of activities in other nations as well".

"It should stop meddling in other nations, (in) what is their sovereign right to determine their government and how it works", he told reporters at a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence ministers in Brussels.



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