OREANDA-NEWSNATO expects Russia to “return to compliance with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Medium and Shorter Range Missiles before August 2, destroying its cruise missiles“ violating this document, ”NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels. 

"Russia has five more weeks to return to the INF Treaty and to eliminate its missiles that violate the provisions of the treaty", he said. Stoltenberg also reiterated that NATO doesn't intend to deploy American cruise missiles in Europe when the treaty ceases to exist. Stoltenberg also made a detailed speech about the fact that Russia allegedly "still during the Obama administration violated the INF Treaty", that "all NATO countries fully support the US position", and also claimed that the blame for the unilateral US withdrawal from the INF Treaty was on Russia.

The increase in military spending by NATO, the decision on which was made back in 2014, was taken, including in preparation for the abandonment of the INF Treaty, Stoltenberg said, answering a question from the media. "One of the reasons why we made commitments to increase the military spending of NATO countries in 2014, after many years of reducing the military budgets of NATO countries, was the actions of Russia, which had already begun deploying SS-8 cruise missiles, so part of this decision is the answer to violation of the INF", he said.

According to Stoltenberg, defense expenditures of NATO countries, with the exception of the United States, will grow by 3.9% in 2019. As the NATO Secretary General noted, the alliance will seek military-technological dominance in the world, including in space and cyberspace, including the development of artificial intelligence. "NATO will provide effective deterrence and defense, for which we need to achieve technical superiority, including in outer space and in cyberspace, in particular, in artificial intelligence systems", he said.