NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg holding a press conference

The foreign ministers of the NATO member states have discussed potential measures they can take if Russia continues to violate the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

“We all believe that Russia continues to be in violation if the INF Treaty,” Stoltenberg said. “Today, we discussed the way forward, and what potential measures we can take should Russia not return into compliance.”

Russia and the United States have long accused each other of violating the INF treaty, and both sides have denied the accusations. On February 1, the United States announced it was suspending its obligations under the 1987 INF Treaty and launched the withdrawal process. Washington said the withdrawal process will be completed within six months unless Russia remedies its alleged treaty violations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced soon thereafter that Russia also suspended its obligations under the INF Treaty.

Speaking at the press conference, Stoltenberg said that NATO had no intention of deploying ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe. He also noted that the bloc agreed on a package of measures to support Ukraine and Georgia in the Black Sea.

The senior official is on a visit to Washington, DC, where he is taking part in a meeting of NATO foreign ministers marking the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the alliance.

The meeting focuses on relations with Russia, burden-sharing and counterterrorism, among other security issues.