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'We Don’t Want A New Arms Race', NATO Secretary General Tells Russia

NATO does not want a new arms race with Russia, the alliance's Secretary General, has said.

Speaking at a meeting of NATO defence ministers, Jens Stoltenberg said the bloc would be united in its response to Russia’s impending exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

“Our response will be united, NATO allies will act together,” Mr Stoltenberg said.

“It will be measured and it will be defensive because we don’t want a new arms race.”

Russia and the United States have both suspended the Cold War-era treaty that drastically cut the nuclear capabilities of both countries and prohibits both nations from owning certain cruise missiles.

Last year President Trump said Russia was in violation of the treaty – a charge the Kremlin denies - and signalled his intention to withdraw the United States from the INF.

Earlier this month President Putin decided to do the same.

UK Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, was at the meeting and said: "What we need to be doing is putting all efforts into ensuring Russia comes into compliance.

"There is still a period of six months where they can have the opportunity to do so. But we then have to keep all options open as to how best to deal with this threat in the future.”

The meeting of NATO defence ministers concludes on February 14.