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US can covertly arm missile defense systems in Europe with missiles — Russian ministry

October 13, 7:19 UTC+3 UN

In this case, the entire European part of Russia will be within the striking range

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© EFE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

UN, October 13. /TASS/. The United States may covertly install cruise missiles on missile defense systems deployed in Europe, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

Defense Ministry spokesman Alexander Yemelyanov said during the Russian-Chinese briefing on missile shield issues on the sidelines of the first committee of the UN General Assembly that in this case, the entire European part of Russia will be within the striking range of those missiles.

"The assumption that the ground-based variant of Mark-41 vertical launching system allegedly has no capabilities to fire cruise missiles is unconvincing. Interceptor missiles at European missile defense bases <…> can be re-equipped with cruise missiles covertly and promptly. In this case, cruise missiles will target the entire territory of European Russia," he said.

The spokesman added that the possibility of using the ground-based version of the shipborne missile canister launching system to fire cruise missiles "is a direct breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty."

"We have repeatedly expressed Russia’s concerns to our American partners about the US violation of its international obligations, but there has been no feedback so far," he said.

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