ROME, October 9. /TASS/. The end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty requires a more open dialogue with Russia, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told reporters after his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday.
"The end of the INF treaty requires a more open than ever dialogue with Russia. Security on the continent faces multiple threats, including the direct one like terrorism, along with instability caused by uncontrolled migration and climate change. NATO and the EU need to enhance cooperation in Europe to ensure security," Conte said.
Conte added that "the North Atlantic cooperation lays the foundation of European security", while "the alliance’s enlargement is a sign of its reliability and vitality."
Conte said that he discussed with Stoltenberg preparations for a special summit in London in December.
"I hope that in London we will see concrete decisions and the consolidation of the southern front to respond to the challenges coming from new sources born by technological progress, along with traditional ones," the Italian prime minister said.
INF missile treaty
On August 2, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was officially terminated at the US initiative. The US claimed 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, as Washington and its NATO allies believe, violate the INF Treaty. Moscow rejected these accusations, saying that the technical parameters of the 9M729 missiles were within the characteristics allowed by the treaty and laying counterclaims to Washington.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave instructions on August 23 to analyze the threat level in the wake of the US tests of a new cruise missile modification on August 18 and prepare a symmetric response.
The INF, or the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, Treaty was signed between the former Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. In 1992, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the treaty became multilateral with the former Soviet republics - Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine - as successors. The INF Treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers).