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U.S. Believes Russia Deployed New Missile, Violated Arms Control Treaty

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U.S. Believes Russia Deployed New Missile, Violated Arms Control Treaty

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Russia, Putin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia has deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints by U.S. officials that it violates an arms control treaty banning ground-based U.S. and Russian intermediate-range missiles, a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday.

Russia had secretly deployed the ground-launched SSC-8 cruise missile that Moscow has been developing and testing for several years, despite U.S. complaints that it violated sections of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, the official said, confirming a story first reported by The New York Times.

“We know that this is an old issue. The Russians have been building and testing these things in violation of the INF treaty going back to the Obama administration,” the official told Reuters, asking to remain anonymous to speak freely.

“The issue now is the things are deployed and it’s an even greater violation of the INF treaty,” the official added.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the Times story.

The U.S. State Department concluded in a July 2014 arms control report that “the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km (310 miles to 3,420 miles), or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.”

Russia accused Washington of conducting “megaphone diplomacy” after the accusation was repeated by the State Department in 2015. Moscow also denied it had violated the INF treaty, which helped end the Cold War between the two countries.

The previous U.S. administration of President Barack Obama had protested in an attempt to persuade Moscow to correct the violation while the missile was still in the testing phase, the Trump administration official said.

Based on open-source information such as Russian bloggers, they were deployed in the central military district, the administration official said, adding: “We are reviewing it.”

Russia now has two battalions of the cruise missile, the Times report quoted administration officials as saying. One is located at Russia‘s missile test site at Kapustin Yar in the country’s southeast.

The other cruise missile battalion has been located at an operational base elsewhere in Russia, the Times quoted one unidentified official as saying.

(Reporting by David Alexander and Steve Holland; Editing by Susan Heavey, Grant McCool and Lisa Shumaker)

IMAGE: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a signing ceremony following the talks with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

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9 Comments

  1. FireBaron February 15, 2017

    Putin: “Hey, pansy-boy, we are test launching a new missile that is in violation of our treaty.”
    Teflon Donnie: “OK. No problem. We do have to say something though.”
    P: “Anything more than a mild rebuke and you can forget about those hotels in St. Petersburg and Moscow that I have been promising you for the last ten years.”
    TD: “Will ‘That may not be good’ serve as a proper answer?”
    P: “I was thinking more along the lines of, ‘Our valiant friends in the Russian Federation have once again proved their superior technological capabilities. As a result we will no longer impede them from requiring former Soviet Republics to withdraw from NATO and submit to the authority of the Russian Federation.’ Got it?”
    TD: “Yes sir. And may I please publicly state we are friends again?”
    P: “Nyet. We must maintain appearances that you take orders from the Kremlin.”

    Reply
  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 15, 2017

    To all Trump loyalists, you may as well pat yourselves on the back for enabling Putin not only to gain a firm foothold in America’s political mechanisms—an outdated and quaint concept in this day and age of complexities and sophisticated technical chicanery—but you’ve also granted the GOP a position of controlling this System of American Governance—an out-of-control juggernaut careening towards a date with a potentially most unpleasant finality. There will be plenty of jobs for y’all—probably mining ores in beautiful and sunny Siberia.

    As we speak, Putin is daily flexing his muscles in light of the current havoc being wreaked by Donald, and the cowardly acquiescence of the GOP in the face of this dismemberment of Democracy.

    Putin thanks all Trump’s servile loyalists who’ve been transformed into the equivalent of the docile “Elois” of HG Wells’ novel, “The Time Machine”. There’s plenty of borscht to go around for all of you happy Trumpists.

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    Trump, of course, immediately demanded answers from the Russians before holding a press conference to inform the public.

    Oh, wait, my mistake – that’s what a President would do.

    Reply
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