Posts Tagged ‘Romania’

Europe’s NATO members failing to meet spending targets

March 15, 2018

NATO members have increased defense spending in general, but European countries are having difficulties meeting a target of 2 percent of GDP demanded by US President Donald Trump. Germany is a long way off.

NATO battalion in the Baltics (picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Kulbis)

Only three NATO members from the EU are meeting defense spending goals, the military alliance said in its annual report on Thursday.

Only Estonia, Greece and the United Kingdom met the 2 percent of GDP defense spending goal agreed in 2014. NATO members have until 2024 to reach the target.

But there were words of encouragement from NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who noted that “in 2017, European allies and Canada increased defense spending by almost 5 percent.”

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In 2017, European Allies & increased their defence expenditure by almost 5%. And since 2014 we have added $18 bn more to spending on major equipment. – @jensstoltenberg

The United States remained the largest defense spender in the alliance, comprising two-thirds of the alliance’s overall expenditure. Washington last year spent 3.6 percent of GDP on defense.

Despite the current disparity, NATO expects four more countries to meet the target this year: Poland, Romania, Lithuania and Latvia.

Read more: How does Germany contribute to NATO?

Trump and 2 percent 

US President Donald Trump has lashed out at NATO allies over their failure to meet their commitments.

Read more:  Germany ‘not fair’ on defense spending, says Donald Trump

He has particularly pointed to Germany, which spent 1.24 percent of GDP on defense in 2017, up from 1.2 percent the previous year. In real terms, Germany increased defense spending by 6 percent to 40.5 billion ($50 billion), up 2.8 billion from 2016.

Stoltenberg said that Germany has stepped up contributions to NATO, for example in its mission in Afghanistan and forward deployed force in Lithuania to counter Russia.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has already pledged Berlin will spend more on defense.

The problem for Germany and other states is that while they have increased spending, the percentage change is minor due to simultaneous economic growth. This means that in order to meet NATO goals, members must significantly increase expenditures for defense.

In addition, 23 EU nations in 2017 committed to a joint defense cooperation, focusing on coordination and investments, that could pave the way towards a European defense union.

cw/rt (AFP, dpa)


Russia accuses US of breaking treaty by offering ‘Aegis Ashore’ defense system to Japan

December 30, 2017


© AFP | Japan has approved the installation of two Aegis Ashore missile defence systems to defend the country against North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov on Saturday accused the United States of violating a key arms treaty by selling a missile defence system to Japan.”The US is deploying them (missile defence systems) at their military bases in Romania and Poland, that is near our western borders, which goes against the 1987 INF Treaty banning the deployment of such systems on the ground,” Ryabkov said in a statement published on the Russian Foreign Ministry website.

“The fact that such complexes could now appear on Russia’s eastern borders creates a situation that we cannot ignore in our military planning,” said Ryabkov.

On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the deployment of the US missile defence system would have a negative impact on relations between Tokyo and Moscow.

“We consider the step made by the Japanese side as going against efforts of ensuring peace and stability in the region,” Zakharova said, adding that Moscow has “deep regret and serious concern” over the move.

On December 19, the Japanese government approved the installation of two land-based US-made Aegis Ashore missile defence systems to defend the country against North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats.

Japan plans to increase its budget defence for the next fiscal year to strengthen its missile defence against the threat posed by its neighbour.

Earlier this month Japan’s defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, said the country plans to purchase long-range cruise missiles with a range of some 900 kilometres (560 miles) from US firms.

The move is controversial as Japan’s pacifist constitution bans the use of force as a means of settling international disputes.

After North Korea launched a missile over Japan’s Hokkaido island in September, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would “never tolerate” North Korea’s “dangerous provocative action” and has urged the international community to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang.

North Korea has threatened to “sink” Japan into the sea.

Global anxiety about North Korea has steadily risen this year, with Washington calling on other UN members to cut ties with Pyongyang in order to squeeze the secretive regime.

The call, however, has fallen short of persuading key North Korea backers China and Russia to take steps to isolate the regime.

Russia Bets on Shale Oil to Defend Its Spot as Top Producer of Crude

December 29, 2017

With many Soviet-era oil fields in decline, Russia will need new sources by the mid-2020s if it wants to maintain production

Image result for KRASNOLENINSKOYE OIL FIELD, Russia, photos

Companies like Gazprom Neft are leading Moscow’s drive to replicate the U.S. shale boom

KRASNOLENINSKOYE OIL FIELD, Russia—This western Siberian oil field is called “Red Lenin,” but its reserves have a distinctly American ring: shale.

The future of the Russian oil industry could lie in the vast Bazhenov shale formation, the largest in the world. Russia has become the biggest global producer of crude oil with almost no contribution from shale, a sometimes technically difficult and expensive resource to pump.

Only Americans have really gotten shale right so far, but the Kremlin is taking the first steps to unlock Russia’s potential.

Companies like PAO Gazprom Neft are leading Moscow’s drive to replicate the U.S. shale boom, experimenting with a uniquely Russian, state-controlled approach to fracking that contrasts with the free-for-all among independent producers in Texas and North Dakota.

“The Bazhenov is a huge prize,” says Alexei Vashkevich, Gazprom Neft’s exploration director.

The Kremlin is offering tax breaks for shale production and encouraging collaboration among companies and other players such as research institutes, hoping that fracking can help stave off a reckoning for its oil industry.

Mr. Vashkevich, who worked on the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota for Hess Corp., said Russian shale will develop in a fundamentally different way from U.S. counterparts.

Alexei Vashkevich, Gazprom Neft’s exploration director.Photo: Davide Monteleone for The Wall Street Journal

Russia’s giant oil companies aren’t renowned for the kind of risk-taking, innovation and speed at the heart of shale producers’ success in the U.S.

“Here, 90% are big players with a culture of secrecy. Historically, we are slower,” Mr. Vashkevich said. Other challenges include an underdeveloped services sector and extreme weather.

No significant shale production is expected before the mid-2020s. With the Bazhenov’s complex and varied geology and other risks companies face here, executives and analysts are wary of making output forecasts.

“I don’t think anyone is going to be jumping up and down in 2020 and saying [shale] is the savior of the Russian oil industry,” said James Henderson, director of the natural-gas program at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, an independent research organization.

But the size of the Bazhenov—which holds almost as much oil as all the known U.S. shale plays, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration—offers a chance for Russia to maintain its prized position as the world’s top producer of crude in coming decades.

Developing shale is important to the ambitions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government depends on oil and gas for around one-third of federal budget revenues. In Mr. Putin’s 17 years as Russia’s leader, crude has fueled spending that has underpinned his popularity at home and efforts to spread influence abroad.

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Russia’s main Soviet-era fields are declining, and the country will need new sources by the middle of the next decade if it wants to maintain its production, oil executives and industry analysts say.

U.S. and European sanctions over Ukraine have hurt Russian companies’ ability to get the technology needed for hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the techniques used to blast oil out of shale formations. But sanctions aside, few countries besides the U.S. and Canada have had real success with fracking, an often high-cost technique that rewards entrepreneurial risk taking and benefits from a looser regulatory regime. Efforts have sputtered in China, Poland and Romania, while fracking isn’t allowed in Germany and France over public concerns over the technique’s impact on the environment, particularly drinking water.

Until recently, Russian oil officials had focused on new conventional projects and old Soviet fields, where they boosted production by making scores of small gains. The result was that Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer of crude oil, pumping a post-Soviet record of over 11 million barrels a day in 2016. Improving output at conventional oil fields will remain an important piece of staving off decline in Russian production.

Gazprom Neft, Russia’s fourth-largest oil producer, is seen as a leader in Moscow’s drive to replicate the U.S. shale boom.

Gazprom Neft has revamped its approach to shale. Previously focused on a partnership with Royal Dutch Shell PLC, it is now moving ahead with new technologies to squeeze out oil from the Bazhenov and, hopefully, begin real production at the start of the next decade.

The company is working with technical universities and service providers on a methodical strategy. Mr. Vashkevich says it has drilled 18 wells of some 120 that he says it will need to find the sweet spot for the production rate and technology costs.

The control room at the Gazprom Neft science and research center in St. Petersburg.Photo: Davide Monteleone for The Wall Street Journal

At a well pad on the Red Lenin field, reached by roads that turn to sludge in fall rains and freeze over in winter, a couple of engineers check progress at a site surrounded by seemingly endless forests. Much of the work is done at a gleaming drilling hub in the center of St. Petersburg, where the company’s top minds monitor drilling.

Russian oil companies have an advantage that U.S. firms didn’t have: The Bazhenov formation lies underneath existing oil fields, meaning much of the infrastructure to develop it is already in place.

Early results are promising, executives say: Gazprom Neft says it has achieved about half the daily production at wells that it needs for commercial production.

Still, even the company doesn’t expect a production boom. It forecasts that shale oil from the Bazhenov could make up 2.5% of its total oil-and- gas production in 2025.

“It will take a little longer, but we’ll get there nonetheless,” Mr. Vashkevich said.

Putin: New US national security strategy is offensive & aggressive, Russia must take note

December 22, 2017

RT — Russia Today

Image may contain: 1 person, suit

Published time: 22 Dec, 2017 12:02
Edited time: 22 Dec, 2017 13:42


Putin: New US national security strategy is offensive & aggressive, Russia must take note

Russian President Vladimir Putin © Kremlin / Global Look Press


Washington’s new national security strategy is “aggressive,” Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that Moscow will take the US stance into consideration.

Both the US and NATO have been “accelerating build-up of infrastructure in Europe,” the Russian leader said Friday. Referring to the “defense strategy recently put out” by Washington, Putin said it was “definitely offensive… speaking in diplomatic language.”


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US tanks arrive at an air base in Romania

America’s new national strategy ‘potential threat to the world’

– Russia’s security chief

“And if we switch to military language, then its character is definitely aggressive,” the president added, speaking at a Russian Defense Ministry meeting.

With NATO’s build-up in Europe, the US has violated the 1987 treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, Putin pointed out.

“Formally,” America’s missile-defense launchers now based in Poland are meant to counter threats, he said. “The point is, and specialists know about it very well, those launchers are all-purpose. They can also be used with existing sea-launched cruise missiles with the flight range of up to 2,500 km [1,550 miles]. And in this case, these missiles are no longer sea-launched missiles, they can be easily moved to land,” Putin added.

Russia’s Defense Ministry “should take into account” Western military strategies, Putin said, adding that “Russia has a sovereign right and all possibilities to adequately and in due time react to such potential threats.”

There are efforts to disrupt strategic parity through deployment of global anti-missile defense system and other strike systems “equatable to nuclear weapons,” the Russian leader told military officials. At the moment, Russia’s strategic nuclear forces are a reliable deterrent to such a military build-up, he added. However, it is necessary to develop them further, Putin said. “I’m talking about missile systems fit to steadily counter not only existing, but also future ABMs.”

Thousands of Romanians have protested against the judicial reforms — But they were adopted by lawmakers anyway

December 21, 2017
© AFP | Thousands of Romanians have protested against the judicial reforms in recent weeks
BUCHAREST (AFP) – Despite opposition whistles, Romania’s upper house approved Thursday judicial reforms that have sparked street protests and concerns abroad about the EU country’s commitment to tackling corruption.Critics say that the changes will reduce the independence of magistrates and curb the powers of the DNA, the respected anti-corruption investigative body.

Brussels worries that EU’s second-poorest country is backtracking on tackling graft, and Washington has also expressed concerns.

Thousands of Romanians including magistrates and law students have protested in recent weeks in Bucharest and other cities.

Centre-right President Klaus Iohannis now has to sign the legislation into law.

Iohannis, often a thorn in the left-wing government’s side, has called the reforms “a backward step in the functioning of the justice system and the fight against corruption”.

Iohannis warned that Romania risked following the path of Poland, which on Wednesday saw the European Commission launch disciplinary proceedings over its judicial reforms

In February the Romanian government backed down on altering anti-corruption laws after the biggest protests since the fall of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989.

Japan expands missile defenses to curb North Korea threat

December 19, 2017

Tokyo has approved plans to buy US-made missile defense systems, citing North Korea’s military technology. Japanese citizens have expressed concerns that changes to its pacifist policy could drag it into other conflicts.

Japan's Self-Defense Force uses a training exercise to show how the PAC-3 surface-to-air interceptors (shown above) function. The Aegis Ashore offer a much more advanced platform to intercept North Korean rockets.Japan’s Self-Defense Force uses a training exercise to show how the PAC-3 surface-to-air interceptors (shown above) function. The Aegis Ashore offer a much more advanced platform to intercept North Korean rockets.

The Japanese government on Tuesday approved plans to expand its ballistic missile defense system with a ground-based Aegis Ashore system made by the US in a bid to curb the threat posed by North Korea’s latest developments in military technology.

“North Korea’s nuclear and missile development has become a greater and more imminent threat for Japan’s national security,” said a government statement. “We need to drastically improve our ballistic missile defense capability to protect Japan continuously and sustainably.”

Read more: Can North Korea’s elites oust Kim Jong Un?

In November, North Korea launched a new ballistic missile that reached an altitude of more than 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles), exceeding the range of Japanese interceptor missiles operating in the Sea of Japan.

Romania was one of the first countries to be equipped with the US-made Aegis Ashore missile defense system
Aegis Ashore

Romania was one of the first countries to be equipped with the US-made Aegis Ashore missile defense system

Self defense or war posturing?

Many Japanese citizens have expressed concerns that changing Japan’s pacifist policy could drag the country into international conflicts, with mass protests opposing changes to its post-World War II pledge to renounce war.

However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has argued that a more active military helps preserve the peace amid an increased threat from North Korea and China’s growing status as a global power.

Read more: North Korea: From war to nuclear weapons

After the Cabinet meeting, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera sought to alleviate such concerns, saying the sole purpose of the missile defense system is to bolster the country’s defenses against an attack from Pyongchang.

“North Korea’s nuclear missile development poses a new level of threat to Japan and, as we have done in the past, we will ensure that we are able to defend ourselves with a drastic improvement in ballistic missile defense,” Onodera.

ls/jm (dpa, Reuters, AP)

Romania to Buy Patriot Missiles from Raytheon — U.S. Arms Sales Surge

December 1, 2017

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Patriots in Saudi Arabia

Romania is closer to a $3.9 billion deal for Raytheon’s (RTN) Patriot missile-defense system amid a surge in demand for U.S. weapons overseas, helping the stock break out into buying territory.

The NATO partner signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the Patriot Wednesday after announcing plans to buy it in April.

The letter allows contract negotiations between Romania and the U.S. to begin. The State Department must notify Congress of all weapons sales to foreign partners, and Congress approves any final deal.

The deal would include seven Patriot Configuration 3+ units,  56 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-TBM missiles and 168 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles.

The Patriot is useful against conventional weapons. It has a range of just 12 miles and works by intercepting missiles in the low atmosphere in their final approach toward the target, or terminal phase.

Earlier this month the State Department approved the potential sale of four Patriot systems to Poland.

Raytheon shares closed up 1.4% at 191.15 on the stock market today, clearing a 190.35 entry point. Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Boeing (BA), which also produce missile-defense systems, rose 0.1% and 2.8%, respectively. (Lockheed also makes interceptors for the Patriot system.) Northrop Grumman (NOC), whose acquisition of Orbital ATK (OA) will give it a greater presence in missile defense, added 0.2%.

IBD’S TAKE: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and other defense stocks are forming new bases and are poised for breakouts as tensions rise in the Middle East, Europe and in the Pacific.

Heightened global tensions have increased the demand for U.S. arms abroad. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said weapons sales in fiscal year 2017, which ended in September, rose nearly 25% to $41.93 billion.

“This positive sales trend isn’t surprising as the United States is the global provider of choice for Security Cooperation,” Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper, DSCA director, said in a statement. “We deliver not only the most effective defense systems to our partners, but we also ensure a ‘Total Package’ approach that includes the provision of training, maintenance, and sustainment, to support full spectrum capability for our partners.

The Middle East has seen heavy dealmaking in recent years, particularly from Saudi Arabia. In May,  President Trump announced $110 billion in arms deals when he visited  the kingdom.

Lockheed said in a release that Saudi Arabia wants to buy more than $28 billion in “integrated air and missile defense, combat ship, tactical aircraft and rotary wing technologies and programs.”

Boeing deals included a Chinook helicopter and support services, guided-weapons systems and the P-8 reconnaissance plane.


Missed Lockheed, Raytheon Buy Points? Here’s A Second Chance

Will Congress OK Saudi Orders For Boeing, Raytheon Weapons?

Defense And Aerospace Stocks To Watch And Industry News

Romanians protest over move to hobble corruption fight

November 26, 2017


© AFP/File | Social Democrat Party leader Liviu Dragnea, pictured on November 21, 2017, is being investigated on corruption charges but is seen as running the party, to the dismay of anticorruption protesters

BUCHAREST (AFP) – Thousands of Romanians took to the streets Sunday in fresh protests at the left-wing government and what critics say are its attempts to go easy on corruption.The number of protesters braving the cold in Bucharest was estimated at 15,000-25,000, with thousands more demonstrating in other cities and towns.

A joint statement by around 40 civil society groups and two trade union federations who called the protests said Romania has been “taken over by a political mafia”.

They want the withdrawal of proposed legislation that would overhaul Romania’s justice system and reduce the powers of the respected anti-corruption directorate, the DNA.

Critics say the changes would dent progress in tackling graft, which Brussels has long complained about in the 10 years since Romania joined the European Union.

“Laws are being drawn up that go against Romania’s interests just in order to save a few people under investigation. To me that seems awful,” pensioner Ion Nica told AFP at the protests in Bucharest.

Another source of dismay is Liviu Dragnea, head of the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) who is barred from office due an electoral fraud conviction but who is seen as being in charge.

Last week prosecutors seized his assets in a probe into alleged misappropriation of public funds. He is also on trial for alleged abuse of power but denies wrongdoing.

Dragnea’s PSD returned to power after a thumping election victory last December but has had a rocky ride.

It backtracked on altering anti-corruption laws in February after they provoked the biggest protests since communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was toppled and executed in 1989.


FBI didn’t tell US targets as Russian hackers hunted emails

November 26, 2017

Pentagon Moves to Develop Banned Intermediate Missile

November 17, 2017

Washington is raising pressure on Russia, saying it is violating an arms control treaty

The U.S. is laying the groundwork to build a type of missile banned by a Cold War-era pact unless Russia abandons its own pursuit of the weapons, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. military’s preliminary research and development, previously undisclosed, is aimed at potentially reviving an arsenal of prohibited ground-based, intermediate-range missiles if Moscow continues violating the pact, the officials said.

American officials say they don’t want to end the Cold War-era accord, known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or the INF, but rather bring Russia back into compliance. Washington hopes to show Moscow the kinds of new American weapons Russia’s armed forces would face if they don’t stop violating the INF, U.S. officials say.

The U.S. told Russia of its research project in recent weeks, according to U.S. officials, but said was ready to abandon it if Russia returns to compliance, the officials said.

“The idea here is we need to send a message to the Russians that they will pay a military price for violation of this treaty,” one U.S. official said. “We are posturing ourselves to live in a post-INF world…if that is the world the Russians want.”

A Russian official said Thursday that the U.S., not Moscow, has been violating the treaty through its missile-defense installations in Europe. The U.S. denies that claim. The official added that Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a U.S. treaty withdrawal would bring an “immediate and reciprocal” Russian response.

In meetings in Brussels last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told allies that Washington was trying to use new leverage to push Moscow into compliance. He said Washington had no plans to abandon the INF.

“Our effort is to bring Russia back into compliance,” Mr. Mattis said last week. “It is not to walk away from the treaty.”

Arms Control

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force, or INF, Treaty was signed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev in Washington on Dec. 8, 1987. Key facts about the treaty:

  • Banned the use of intermediate and shorter range missiles with a range of 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers (about 300 to 3,400 miles).
  • By 1991, it eliminated more than 2,700 U.S. and Soviet missiles, including hundreds of American Pershing IIs and Soviet SS-20s.
  • The U.S. gave up 846 missile systems and the Soviets scrapped 1,846 systems.
  • The U.S. missiles were in countries including Germany, the U.K., Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.
  • The Soviet missiles were in Belarus, Bulgaria, then-Czechoslovakia, Ukraine and Russia, among others.
  • Source: U.S. State Department, Federal of American Scientists, INF Treaty documents.

The U.S. would only be in violation of the treaty if it tests, produces or fields the new ground-based cruise missile under development. Researching and designing the weapon doesn’t constitute a violation.

Mr. Mattis is trying to balance Washington’s more muscular response with European fears that the U.S. would abandon an arms-control pact that leaders on the continent saw as a critical milestone in reducing Cold War tensions.

The INF push is part of a larger effort to craft a new Russia strategy by the State and Defense Departments, U.S. officials said. The administration is making a push for a Ukraine peacekeeping deal and is trying to strengthen arms control accords that have frayed amid U.S.-Russian tensions, say U.S. officials.

This summer, Congress instructed the Pentagon to begin research and development on an intermediate-range, road-mobile, ground-launched missile system in response to Russia’s violations of the treaty. The Pentagon started preliminary research for the missile given the likelihood that it soon would be required by law, U.S. officials said.

The House and Senate passed legislation authorizing research and development of a conventional “ground mobile” cruise missile, adding an extra potential challenge to Russian defenses if deployed. The White House is likely to approve it in the coming weeks, U.S. officials said.

The legislation also requires the administration to develop a new plan for additional sanctions on Russia related to its violations of the INF and authorizes the administration to “invoke legal countermeasures,” including possible suspension of the treaty.

For months, the U.S. has sought ways to secure Russian compliance with the INF. The U.S. summoned Moscow in late 2016 to a mandatory meeting under a special treaty commission to answer for the alleged Russian violations, to no avail.

In March, Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Russians had violated the treaty by deploying a land-based cruise missile. The missile’s range puts it at odds with the treaty, U.S. officials have said.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan, right, and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty in the White House in 1987.Photo: REUTERS

The INF Treaty, signed by the U.S. and the Soviet Union in 1987, entered into force the following year and banned the use and production of nuclear and conventionally-armed missiles that fly between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (311 miles and 3,418 miles). It doesn’t ban those fired by ships or aircraft.

Russian officials have denied they are in violation of the treaty and instead have accused the Pentagon of violating the pact by installing Aegis Ashore missile defense systems in Romania and Poland. U.S. officials have denied that accusation, saying that the Aegis systems launch only missiles outside the parameters of the treaty.

The legislation calls on the administration to determine whether Russia’s RS-26 is banned by the INF or will be regulated as an intercontinental ballistic missile. Moscow also has stoked concern with its SSC-8 cruise missile.

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Russia’s RS-26

The INF Treaty remains critical for Europe’s security. The pact removed American-made Pershing II missiles from Europe, along with Soviet RDS-10 Pioneer, known to NATO as the SS-20.

The usually stoic NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, grew passionate this month while defending the INF Treaty’s importance.

“I’m part of a political generation in Europe which really grew up with the very intense debate related to the deployment of the SS-20s and the Pershing,” he said. “We also very much welcomed the INF Treaty which then eliminated all these weapons in Europe. So, I think that the INF Treaty is a cornerstone.”

Write to Julian E. Barnes at, Paul Sonne at and Brett Forrest at