Brussels, October 22: The European Commission on Monday urged the United States and Russia to pursue talks to preserve a nuclear weapons treaty after President Donald Trump said Washington was withdrawing from the deal.
The Commission, the 28-nation European Union executive, stressed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty has been a mainstay of European defence for the last three decades.
Spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters in Brussels that US and the Russian Federation need to remain in a constructive dialogue to preserve this treaty and ensure it is fully and verifiably implemented.
She said the treaty for Intermediate-Range Forces in Europe contributed to the end of the Cold War, to the end of the nuclear arms race and is one of the cornerstones of European security architecture since it entered force 30 years ago. She said, thanks to this treaty almost 3,000 missiles with nuclear and conventional warheads have been removed and verifiably destroyed.
The agreement banning intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles was signed in 1987 by then US president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader.
The Trump administration has complained of Moscow's deployment of Novator 9M7209 missiles, which Washington says fall under the treaty's ban on missiles that can travel distances of between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.