Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the North Atlantic Council meeting at the level of Defence Ministers

  • 26 Jun. 2019 -
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  • Last updated: 26 Jun. 2019 17:56

(As delivered)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

So, dear friends, good evening. I think we are ready to start. And welcome to this session on the INF Treaty.

In clear violation of the Treaty, Russia has developed, tested and deployed its new SSC-8 missile system.

A missile that is nuclear capable.

And could reach European cities within minutes.

There are no new American missiles in Europe.

But there are new Russian missiles in Europe.

So we call on Russia to return to compliance with the INF Treaty.

Time is running out.

A treaty that is only respected by one side will not keep us safe.

That is why the US announced – with the full support of all Allies – that it will withdraw from the INF Treaty,

unless Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance. And therefore, we must prepare for a world without the INF Treaty.

Today we will agree a range of political and military measures to ensure our deterrence and defence remain effective if Russia does not uphold its international obligations. 


That concludes the public part of this meeting.

And I thank the media for joining us at the opening of this meeting and this meeting will continue in just a short moment.