In an effort to maintain an arms treaty that prohibits missiles from being in Europe, the United States has given Russia 60 days to verify compliance.
The ultimatum was made after German led NATO allies appealed to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to seek a diplomatic solution.
Yet NATO foreign ministers were unanimous in their agreement to declare Russia in “material breach” of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. While NATO members advocate for diplomacy, their support of the U.S. means the ball is in Russia’s court.
“Russia has a last chance to show in a verifiable way that they comply with the treaty … but we also have to start to prepare for the fact that this treaty may break down,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters.
Russia has repeatedly denied any efforts to develop land-based, intermediate range Cruise missiles. The danger being that they could be capable of rapidly delivering nuclear warheads to European cities.
Pompeo has brought the issue up over 30 times since 2013 but has not gotten nothing but denials from Russia for his efforts.
“In the light of these facts, the United States declares Russia in material breach of the treaty and will suspend our obligations … effective in 60 days unless Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance,” Pompeo said.