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NATO allies say Russia is violating nuclear pact with US

The ruling paves the way for the United States to leave the pact unless Moscow complies with it.

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US secretary of state Mike Pompeo (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)

Nato allies say they have concluded that Russia is in violation of a landmark Cold War-era nuclear treaty.

The ruling paves the way for the United States to leave the pact unless Moscow complies with it.

Foreign ministers from Nato member countries said that they “strongly support the finding of the United States that Russia is in material breach of its obligations” under the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after the decision that the United States would suspend its treaty obligations in 60 days over the alleged violations.

US President Donald Trump previously threatened to pull out of the bilateral pact.

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Donald Trump has previously threatened to pull out of the agreement (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Donald Trump has previously threatened to pull out of the agreement (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Donald Trump has previously threatened to pull out of the agreement (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The ministers called on Russia “to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance. It is now up to Russia to preserve the INF Treaty”.

Mr Pompeo said: “We either bury our head in the sand or we take common sense action” over Russia’s contravention of the pact.

Accusing Russia of “cheating at its arms control obligations,” Mr Pompeo said a six-month notice period for leaving the treaty would start in 60 days.

He said Washington “would welcome a Russian change of heart” but that he has seen no indication that Moscow is likely to comply.

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