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28.11.2019 Europe

Macron says EU must be part of any future US-Russia nuclear missile treaty

Ludovic Marin / Pool via REUTERS
NOV 28, 2019 EUROPE
Ludovic Marin / Pool via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that European nations should be involved in any talks to forge a new pact limiting mid-range nuclear missiles held by the US and Russia, after a landmark Cold War-era accord fell apart this year.

"We cannot just content ourselves with bilateral treaties," Macron said after talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Paris.

Washington and Moscow walked away from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in August after each accused the other of violating the terms of the deal.

Russia has called on the US and other NATO member to implement a moratorium on deploying medium-range missiles, something Stoltenberg has so far ruled out.

But Macron has made no secret of his wish to engage with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a range of disputes, saying he would raise the issue at a NATO meeting in London next week.

"We want a lucid, robust and demanding dialogue with Russia, with neither naivety nor complacency," Macron said at a press conference alongside Stoltenberg at the Elysee Palace.

"An accord that would replace the INF...requires the involvement of Europeans," he said. "It's a question of the security of Europe."

Paris talks
The Kremlin said on Thursday that Macron had told Moscow he was ready to discuss a Russian proposal to impose a moratorium on the deployment of missiles in Europe, Interfax news agency reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin may discuss the proposal at talks in Paris on 9 December, the TASS news agency reported.