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NATO allies believe Russia violating arms treaty

Large-scale air force exercises with the United States and other NATO countries were held in western Ukraine earlier this month. AFP/Getty Images/file

MOSCOW (AP) — NATO’s spokeswoman says the 29 allies believe Russia is violating a landmark arms control treaty and have tried repeatedly to obtain information about its new missile system.

NATO has expressed concern since last year about Russia’s nuclear-capable 9M729 system violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty. The pact between Russia and the U.S. banned all land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310-3,410 miles)

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Monday that ‘‘in the absence of any credible answer from Russia on this new missile, allies believe that the most plausible assessment would be that Russia is in violation of the INF Treaty.’’


Lungescu didn’t comment on U.S. President Donald Trump’s weekend threat to withdraw from the treaty, saying only that the ‘‘allies continue consultations.’’

The United States is by far the biggest and most influential member of the military alliance.