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NATO prepares options to counter Russian missile threat if INF Treaty collapses

27 June 2019
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All options are on the table for NATO to counter Russia’s new 9M729 nuclear-capable cruise missile, including a revision of NATO’s nuclear posture and a possible technical modification of the allies’ nascent ballistic missile defence (BMD) system, according to allied sources.

The burden is on Moscow to renounce the 9M729 in order to regain compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by 2 August, after which the US will withdraw from it in protest.

Speaking to reporters on the first day of a 26–27 June meeting of allied defence ministers in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the ministers reviewed potential new measures that include exercises, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities, and will have a “further look” at their air and missile defences and conventional capabilities.

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