NATO needs more agreements on arms control, given an increasing missile threat from Russia, the Alliance's Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, says.
Speaking at a press conference following the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of foreign ministers on March 24, Stoltenberg said the Allies "agree we should continue to review and adapt our deterrence and defense, including when it comes to the growing Russian missile threat," according to an UNIAN correspondent.
"Our dual-track approach combines strong deterrence and defence, with openness to dialogue. All Allies remain firmly committed to nuclear arms control," said the secretary general.
At the same time, he added the Allies "welcome" the recent decision to extend the New START Treaty.
"This must be the beginning of an effort to further strengthen international nuclear arms control," believes Jens Stoltenberg.
"We see that Russia continues to deploy new and destabilizing nuclear weapons. We need agreements that cover more weapons and more nations like China. So the arms control regime must take account of new realities," the top official noted.
Read alsoNATO: Russia's aggressive actions constitute threat to Euro-Atlantic securityStoltenberg added that NATO has "a strong and long-standing commitment to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation."
New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. It was signed on April 8, 2010, in Prague, and, after ratification, entered into force on February 5, 2011. It is expected to last until February 5, 2026, having been extended in 2021, as per Wikipedia.
The treaty calls for halving the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers. A new inspection and verification regime will be established, replacing the SORT mechanism. It does not limit the number of operationally inactive nuclear warheads that can be stockpiled, a number in the high thousands.