The NATO alliance issued a request on Russia to destroy a new missile before the deadline in August as NATO defense ministers will talk about the next moves tomorrow if Russia keeps the missile system.
The United States claims that the missile system will allow short-notice nuclear attacks on Europe and break the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty from 1987.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg was talking on a news conference as he said: “We call on Russia to take the responsible path, but we have seen no indication that Russia intends to do so. We will need to respond.’’
Stoltenberg didn’t discover more details but according to some diplomats, the defense ministers will consider more flights over Europe by American warplanes that can carry nuclear warheads.
The United States and its NATO allies want Russia to destroy its 9M729/SSC-8 nuclear-capable cruise missile system, which Moscow has so far refused to do. It denies any violations of the INF treaty, accusing Washington of seeking an arms race, Reuters reports.
The feud has caused in the relations between Russia and other western countries, mostly after Russia seized Crimea and made its moves in Syria.
Official Moscow issued a warning Monday morning that something similar like the Cuban missile crisis from 1962 might happen if the U.S. deploys land-based missile systems near Russia. Stoltenberg later denied those plans.
U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison was talking with the reporters as she said that the U.S. is only considering conventional, not nuclear weapons, in any possible response.
“All options are on the table but we are looking at conventional systems, that’s important for our European allies to know,’’ said Hutchison.