Russia: US Violates Treaty on Prohibition of Intermediate-Range Missiles

Russia: US Violates Treaty on Prohibition of Intermediate-Range Missiles
Thu Dec 3, 2015 12:26:43

Moscow says installing the Mk 41 vertical launching systems in Eastern Europe by the United States is a violation of their bilateral deal on prohibition of using intermediate-range cruise missiles.

“We have grounds to regard land-based Mk 41s as cruise missile launching systems and their deployment on the ground as a direct INF violation by the US side,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, Sputnik news agency reported.

 

Russia: US Violates Treaty on Prohibition of Intermediate-Range Missiles

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which was signed by then the US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, maintains that the two countries cannot possess, produce, or test-fly nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges, defined as between of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles).

 

“The Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles”

The treaty was formally titled “The Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles,” and came into force on June 1, 1988.

The Mark 41 Vertical Launching Systems (Mk 41 VLS), which are originally ship-borne missile canister launching systems, provide a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats. Several of them are now stationed in Romania by the US military and will be later redeployed to Poland.

In July 2014, the US accused Russia of breaching the deal when Moscow allegedly developed and tested a banned ground-launched cruise missile.

On Tuesday, Brian McKeon, the US principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy repeated Washington’s claim about Russia violating the treaty, saying, "The evidence is conclusive. Russia has tested this ground-based system well into the ranges covered by the INF treaty.”

However, the Wednesday statement rejected the accusations as “baseless,” and underlined that such remarks are Washington’s attempts to justify its activities.

"The aim of this deceptive move is obvious – it is to cast a shadow on our arms controls and to deflect attention from US actions. The situation with the treaty is shamelessly used to escalate the atmosphere of chronic military tension across the Euro-Atlantic space, the statement further read."

The United States is boosting its rotational forces and military exercises in NATO's eastern flank, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria, and deploying military hardware in Europe; Press TV reported.

S/SH

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