Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg stated at the Brussels meeting of NATO defense ministers, which was held on February 13th, that NATO’s current focus is to preserve the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
“We're trying to save the ‘cornerstone’ of arms control, and so everything is now in the hands of Russia. At the same time, we are preparing, considering and analyzing the consequences of the treaty termination. The preparation has already begun since the new Russian missiles are not a single case but part of a broader picture of Russia's investment in the latest military facilities, including nuclear ones,” emphasized the NATO Secretary General.
Stoltenberg emphasized that all of Russia’s actions have already led the Alliance to the greatest strengthening of collective security since the Cold War. When asked what steps the Alliance is preparing in response to Russia's violation of the INF Treaty, he said that NATO has “a wide range of options.”
“We don’t need to respond to Russia's actions with a mirror effect, and we haven’t done this so far. We will not respond by creating ‘a rocket for a rocket’ or ‘an airplane for an airplane’. What is important for us is the presence of credible forces of deterrence and defense. We will do this as a united alliance,” Stoltenberg said.
NATO defense ministers gathered on Wednesday and Thursday in Brussels to discuss the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the response to Russia's actions. The United States suspended the implementation of the requirements of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on February 2.