USA

Russian Federation violates Cold War treaty with cruise missile test

The deployment of the missile violates the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, as reported by The Hill.

Moscow also denied it had violated the INF treaty, which helped end the Cold War between the two countries.

Two Russian battalions now have the cruise missiles, according to the New York Times, which first reported the story on Tuesday.

The Obama administration expressed its concern over the test of the missile, then known as the SSC-X-8, in 2014.

"I've said before that we need to set firm boundaries for Russia's behavior - and enforce them to the hilt", Cotton said Tuesday.

This makes the treaty a possible topic for discussion by Jim Mattis, the Secretary of Defense, in his upcoming NATO meeting, since it has stirred restlessness in the white house with its potential damage to US-Russian relations.

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The news of Russian missile deployment came the day after U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned following reports he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia.

It is the first such move by Russian military under Trump's presidency. He has refused to explicitly criticize Putin. Russia's supposed possession of cruise missiles violates this pact. However, Russian lawmakers have told Russian news outlets it won't.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that "compliance with arms control agreements is of great importance and especially when it comes to treaties covering nuclear weapons".

Sen. John McCain of Arizona echoed the sentiment, saying the missiles pose a "significant military threat to U.S. forces in Europe and our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies", and that the move "requires a meaningful response".

Russia has deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints by US officials that it violates an arms control treaty banning ground-based USA and Russian intermediate-range missiles. While one remains at a test site in the country's southeast, another has been moved to an operational base elsewhere.

In short, the treaty stopped the United States from placing its own intermediate-range nuclear missiles all over Western Europe after Russian Federation developed its own missiles to target Western European capitals in the 1980s.



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