Germany: Russia needs to stop violating INF so treaty can survive

FILE PHOTO: Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas looks on during a 'Global Ireland' news conference in Dublin, Ireland January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday that he had discussed the INF disarmament treaty with Russia and had made clear that he expected Moscow to stop violating it so the accord has a chance of survival.

“I have spoken to my Russian colleague about it and told him we’re banking on Russia correcting its violations of the treaty and disarming its cruise missiles so that the INF treaty still has a chance,” Maas said.

Russia has recognized the existence of a cruise missile system that has prompted Washington to say it will quit the 1987 INF treaty, but has denied that it violates the pact, U.S. officials and NATO diplomats said on Monday.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Madeline Chambers