Austria sees the end of the nuclear disarmament treaty as a "threat" to Europe

 Austria expressed concern on Friday over the "threat" facing Europe after the disarmament treaty ended, calling on Moscow and Washington to commit "voluntarily" not to deploy medium-range missiles on the continent.

The United States on Friday officially announced its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Weapons Convention and repeated accusations that Russia was violating the Cold War-era treaty.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a visit to Bangkok to attend a regional summit that "the US withdrawal from the treaty begins today," adding "Russia is solely responsible for the end of the treaty."

"Europe should not become the scene of a new arms race," said Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schalenberg after the two powers agreed in the morning to end the symbolic text signed at the end of the Cold War.

"The end of the nuclear disarmament treaty is a threat to Europe's security," Schalenberg said, calling for a "voluntary declaration by both sides on the non-deployment of medium-range missiles in Europe."

Neutral Austria is one of the countries behind the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2017, to which no major powers have acceded.

"An international embargo is a condition for achieving a world free of nuclear weapons," Schalenberg said.

When the ultimatum to Washington expires, Russia officially announced the end of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on Friday, accusing the United States of being responsible.

Moscow renewed its proposal not to deploy missiles banned under the Cold War pact if Washington did the same.

In the 1987 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the two superpowers pledged to destroy all of their ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,000 km.


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