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NATO chief urges Russia to comply with missile pact

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, answers a question from the media during a meeting with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan at the Pentagon, Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — NATO's secretary-general has urged Russia to respect a Cold War-era missile treaty saying its missiles are nuclear capable and could reach European cities.

Jens Stoltenberg said in Bucharest on Wednesday that Russia was violating the treaty and had "developed and deployed new intermediate range missiles," which were "hard to detect, mobile."

The 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and the Soviet Union bans production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometers (310-3,400 miles).The Pentagon has shared information with NATO allies asserting that Russia's new 9M729 missile system falls within the treaty. Moscow insists the missile has a range of less than 500 kilometers.

The U.S says it will start the six-month process of leaving the INF pact from Feb. 2.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, answers a question from the media during a meeting with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan at the Pentagon, Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, answers a question from the media during a meeting with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan at the Pentagon, Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)