BRUSSELS, September 25. /TASS/. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has received a proposal from the Russian government to introduce a moratorium on deploying intermediate-and shorter-range missiles in Europe and other regions, however, NATO does not consider it "a credible offer," NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu told TASS on Wednesday.
"We can confirm that the NATO Secretary General has received a letter from the Russian authorities," she said, adding that the proposal is impossible to implement. "As regards to a moratorium, we have heard this proposal before, but this is not a credible offer, as it disregards the reality on the ground: Russia has already deployed the SSC-8 (missile also known as 9M729 - TASS), in violation of the INF Treaty. Unless and until Russia verifiably destroys the SSC-8 system, this moratorium on deployments is not a real offer," the spokesperson stated.
"Russia bears the sole responsibility for the demise of the INF Treaty," Lungescu stressed. "For over six years, Allies tried to get Russia back into compliance with the INF Treaty, but Russia continued to develop and deploy the SSC-8 in breach of the Treaty."
"All Allies have agreed that NATO’s response will be measured, responsible and undertaken in a coordinated way," the spokesperson continued. "We will not mirror what Russia does. We do not want a new arms race, and we have no intention to deploy new land-based nuclear weapons in Europe. Allies remain firmly committed to the preservation of effective arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation," she added.
Earlier, the Kommersant daily informed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had sent a proposal to the leaders of several countries, including NATO member states, to introduce a moratorium on deploying intermediate-and shorter-range missiles in Europe and other regions.
On August 2, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was officially terminated at the initiative of the US. The US said that its actions were provoked by Russia’s refusal to comply with the American ultimatum-like demand to eliminate the new 9M729 cruise missiles, which Washington and its NATO allies believe to violate the INF Treaty. Moscow has been rejecting these accusations, saying that the technical parameters of the 9M729 missiles are within the parameters allowed by the treaty and laying counterclaims to Washington.