Romanian top diplomat opposes deployment of new missiles

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Romanian foreign minister Teodor Melescanu

Romanian foreign minister Teodor Melescanu


© EPA-EFE/MOHAMED MESSARA

BERLIN, February 12. /TASS/. Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu opposes the deployment of new missiles to Europe, including his country, as he himself said in an interview with Germany’s Die Welt newspaper.

“If Moscow does not want dialogue, then we have to find an appropriate response. However, the deployment of nuclear weapons to Europe would definitely be a bad response,” he said. “I think it won’t happen, particularly in Romania,” Melescanu added.

The Romanian top diplomat pointed out that Bucharest was “very concerned” about the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. At the same time, he noted that there were still six months to prevent that move. “I call on Russia to do everything to ensure compliance and save the INF Treaty,” Melescanu said.

INF Treaty issue

The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applies to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington on many occasions accused Russia of violating the Treaty but Moscow strongly dismissed all accusations and expressed grievances concerning Washington’s non-compliance.

On February 1, US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the suspension of Washington’s obligations under the INF Treaty starting February 2. Washington is determined to withdraw from the Treaty in six months unless Russia returns to “real and verifiable” compliance.

On February 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was also suspending the Treaty. He handed down instructions to refrain from initiating talks with Washington on the issue and stressed that the US needed to show readiness for an equal and substantive dialogue.

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