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NATO chief appeals to Russia ahead of missile pact deadline

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is appealing to Russia to comply with a key Cold War-era missile treaty just days before a U.S. deadline to do so expires, but he says the end of the landmark European security pact appears imminent.

In February, the United States began withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty it agreed in 1987 with the then Soviet Union, blaming Moscow for developing missiles that do not comply with it. Russia has until Friday to destroy the new missiles.

Stoltenberg said Wednesday that "we see the demise of the INF treaty," but he added that "we still call on Russia to come back into compliance and to save the treaty." He told reporters that NATO "will do what is necessary to have credible deterrence and defense."

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