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NATO: Russia’s proposal on medium and short-range missiles is unrealistic

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — NATO has confirmed that it has received Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal on the non-deployment of medium and short-range missiles in Europe and some other regions, but considered this initiative unrealistic.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg received the letter from Putin, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said, but added: “As for the ban on missile deployment, we have heard about this proposal before, but it is not trustworthy because it ignores the truth.”

Longescu noted that Russia recently deployed SSC-8 missiles (NATO classification of the missile “9M 729”), claiming that this operation came in violation of the treaty of medium and short-range missiles.

The spokeswoman for NATO: “This ban on the deployment of medium and short-range missiles does not represent a realistic proposal as long as Russia does not damage the systems of SSC-8.”

The Russian newspaper “Kommersant”, earlier on Wednesday, that Putin put forward a new initiative in which he offered to dozens of countries in the world to impose a ban on the deployment of medium and short-range missiles in Europe and some other regions.

The newspaper quoted a diplomat from a NATO member attending the current session of the UN General Assembly in New York, saying that Putin sent on September 19 to dozens of countries and international institutions on the subject of missiles.

Among the recipients were all NATO members, its secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, non-NATO countries such as China, as well as EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

This initiative comes after the United States, on August 2, 2019, emerged from the short- and medium-range missile treaty it concluded with the Soviet Union in 1987.

Russia says the range of the M-729 missiles is less than 500 kilometers, meaning they are not subject to the treaty.

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