Executive Intelligence Review


NATO Defense Ministers Discuss Adapting ‘to a World with More Russian Missiles’

Feb. 13, 2019 (EIRNS)—NATO’s defense ministers convened in Brussels this morning, the first such meeting since the U.S. Trump Administration announced it would be leaving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty within six months, if Russia doesn’t destroy its 9M729 missile and associated systems. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg presented an aggressive posture in response to Russia’s alleged violation, telling reporters during a press conference yesterday that it’s up to Russia to return to compliance with the treaty.

“At the same time, we are planning for a world without the INF Treaty,” he said. At the meeting, “we will discuss what steps NATO should take to adapt to a world with more Russian missiles.” He wouldn’t say what steps NATO would take, but, “Any steps we take will be coordinated, measured, and defensive, and we do not intend to deploy new ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe” aimed at Russia.

Stoltenberg also said that he expects that the INF Treaty will be a major topic at the Munich Security Conference, which runs Feb. 15-17, “because all NATO Allies are concerned about the fact that we now see that this cornerstone for European security is really in jeopardy.”

Stoltenberg also dismissed Russian concerns about the Mk-41 launchers in Poland and Romania, claiming that they’re nothing more than distraction from Russia’s (alleged) violation of the treaty.

“The Russian efforts to try to focus on the NATO Missile Defense System is the only way to try to distract attention from the real issue. And the real issue is that Russia is deploying new nuclear-capable missiles in Europe,”

he said.

“So, when Russia starts to speak about something else, it’s only a way to try to avoid attention on what’s the problem. There are no new U.S. missiles in Europe; but there are more and more new Russian missiles in Europe—nuclear-capable.”

He said that there are no missiles at the BMD sites, only interceptors, and that the agreement with NATO prevents offensive missiles from being installed. “So, that’s totally mixing two totally different things, in just an attempt to try to distract attention from the real problem,” he said. “The real problem is the new Russian missiles.”