The foreign Ministers of NATO countries will discuss the INF Treaty and the incident in the Kerch Strait

© Flickr / Downing StreetЛоготип and flags of the countries participating in NATO. Archival photoThe foreign Ministers of NATO countries will discuss the INF Treaty and the incident in the Kerch Strait© Flickr / Downing Street

Possible NATO response to the situation with the INF Treaty and reaction to the incident in the Black sea will be key points of talks between the foreign Ministers of NATO countries on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

Negotiations will begin in the second half of the day with a joint meeting of the North Atlantic Council with the participation of Ministers of foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Georgia. This combined format had to borrow from the experience of the July NATO summit, as Hungary continues to block the holding of some Ministerial meetings of the NATO — Ukraine.

Further, Ministers will gather in the format of 29 allied countries to discuss other issues on the agenda.

In the beginning of the day to the Ministerial Council, US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, is expected to separately, will deliver a speech.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a pre-negotiation press conference outlined the priorities on which will work allies: the situation in the Kerch Strait and the implementation of the INF Treaty. However, he did not provide reporters details of possible solutions, citing the fact that this will be the subject of discussion by Ministers.

The third big item on the agenda will be the situation in North Africa. In this regard, Stoltenberg will meet on Tuesday with head of the Libyan government massoglia Fitom Saragam, however, the public part of these negotiations is not planned. On Friday in the agenda of the talks will be the theme of the Western Balkans and Afghanistan.

The INF Treaty: «out of Time»

NATO Secretary General gave to understand that allies are discussing responses to the situation of the INF Treaty, accusing Russia of violating it. According to Stoltenberg, the current situation «cannot last».

«We call on Russia to abide by the contract, and of course we need to make sure that can still ensure the security of all allies, and we will take the necessary decisions to make sure that it will be so in the future,» he said.

According to the Secretary General, NATO response would not mirror the «plane on a plane, a rocket missile, tank on tank», but the Alliance wants to «to ensure that needed capacity willingness to provide credible deterrence». He also confirmed that «the U.S. has informed NATO allies about their assessment of the new Russian missiles».

Earlier on condition of anonymity, the official in the Alliance refused to comment on the RIA Novosti media reports that the US, NATO handed over some secret data on a new Russian system, and suggested to wait for the press conference Stoltenberg.

The Secretary General also said on Monday that «time is running out», but did not answer the question, can the United States use this meeting to announce the withdrawal from the INF Treaty, or wait for the next Ministerial meeting to be held after two months, at the level of heads of defense agencies.

«I think I’m a little early today to announce that, say the Ministers. The exact timing, the exact sequence and so on I’m not going to comment on. The only thing I will say is that the current situation cannot continue. And NATO allies are now discussing what to do about this very serious issue,» he said.

Deputy foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier that Russia had notified the United States that the missile 9М729, which has caused concern in the West, has not been tested on a range prohibited by the INF Treaty. He noted that Moscow has in good faith informed the American side real time frame «test activities» against missiles 9М729, gave explanations on misconceptions of Washington about the types of launchers, which carried out the tests, although such transparency is not required and according to the INF Treaty.

Stoltenberg also said that NATO is working with Georgia and Ukraine «on issues related to security of the Black sea» and strengthening their naval capabilities. «They have support from NATO, when it comes to the naval Academy in Odessa. We work with the naval forces of both Ukraine and Georgia, showing that this practical cooperation has value for partners,» he said.

Earlier, the expert of the center for peace studies and security GRIP Danny Jackman told RIA Novosti that NATO is unlikely to connect to the situation around the Azov sea, while things are moving within this region and do not affect directly the Black sea. In his opinion, «NATO’s limited support for the modernization of the Ukrainian fleet» and «as long as the problems remain within the Azov sea».

Responding Monday to a direct question how NATO will respond to calls from Kiev «to send warships into the Azov sea,» Stoltenberg again evasively said that «NATO has considerably increased its presence in the Black sea and is closely monitoring the situation in the region.»

Three ships of the Navy of Ukraine «Berdyansk», «Nikopol» and «Yana Kapu» — November 25, violated the border of Russia, included in the temporarily closed waters of the territorial sea of the Russian Federation and moved from the Black sea to Kerch Strait. They maneuvered in a dangerous manner, did not obey the lawful demands of the Russian authorities. The Ukrainian ship with 24 sailors were arrested, three Ukrainian military were wounded, hospitalized and receive medical care, their life is not in danger. After the incident concerning them criminal case on illegal crossing of the state border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident a provocation, noting that among the crew members of the Ukrainian courts, violated the border of Russia, were two employees of the security service of Ukraine, who actually led the operation. Putin stressed that Russian border guards had performed their functions for the protection of the state border. According to him, the provocation in the Black sea tied to a low rating of the President of Ukraine ahead of the elections.

The foreign Ministers of NATO countries will discuss the INF Treaty and the incident in the Kerch Strait© Vitaly Policytool war

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