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UN chief: World to lose brake on nuclear war with treaty end

August 1, 2019

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says that “the world will lose an invaluable brake on nuclear war” when the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty between Moscow and Washington expires Friday.

He told reporters Thursday that the INF treaty “is a landmark agreement that helped stabilize Europe and end the Cold War” and its end “will likely heighten, not reduce, the threat posed by ballistic missiles.”

In February, the U.S. began withdrawing from the treaty, accusing Russia of developing missiles that do not comply with the pact. Russia has until Friday to destroy those missiles.

Guterres urged the two nations “to avoid destabilizing developments” and agree on a new arms control path. He said they should extend the New START treaty, the last major U.S.-Russia arms control pact, which expires in 2021.

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