Russian Federation nuclear treaty is in "real danger": NATO chief

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Stoltenberg said the ministers will discuss Wednesday "what steps North Atlantic Treaty Organisation should take to adapt to a world with more Russian missiles".

"Our main focus now is to preserve the treaty and there is a window of opportunity for Russian Federation to come back into compliance", Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said before a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on Wednesday.

"Any steps we take will be coordinated, measured and defensive, and we do not intend to deploy new ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe", Stoltenberg told reporters at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a meeting of allied defense ministers.

If Turkey does purchase Russian arms, it could put at risk the types of defenses other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies could have in the country, affect the inter-operability of defense systems and violate security and intelligence among alliance members, Hutchison said.

Russian Federation suspended the INF treaty earlier this month after Washington announced it would withdraw in six months unless Russian Federation ended what it says were violations of the pact.

The collapse of the 1987 treaty, which banned ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres, has sparked fears of a new arms race in Europe. He declined to say what measures are being considered.

Stoltenberg said the new Russian missiles were just the latest example of Moscow's increasingly assertive posture. To return to compliance and save the INF Treaty.

Mr Putin said: "Our American partners announced that they are suspending their participation in the treaty, and we are suspending it too".

European NATO members are especially keen to avoid any nuclear build-up and a repeat of the missile crisis in the 1980s. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies chose to deploy USA cruise and Pershing 2 ballistic missiles in Europe in 1983 as negotiations with Moscow faltered over its stationing of SS-20 missiles in Eastern Europe.

The U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, sought to reassure them.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been adamant that Turkey would take the Russian missile system, saying traditional allies in the West failed to meet his country's defensive needs.

"Any steps we take will be co-ordinated, measured and defensive, and we do not intend to deploy new ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe", Mr Stoltenberg said in Brussels ahead of a meeting of alliance defence ministers.

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