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US accuses Russia of violating missile treaty, turns blind eye on own violations

July 29, 2014, 16:57 UTC+3 Litovkin Viktor
© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov/Archive

MOSCOW, July 29. /ITAR-TASS/. A high-ranking official in the US administration accused Russia on Monday of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

“The 2014 Compliance Report of the treaty includes a determination that the Russian Federation is in violation of its INF Treaty obligations not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,417 miles), or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles,” a senior official from the US Department of State said.

"This is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now," he added.

In the past Washington repeatedly expressed its concerns regarding Moscow’s alleged failure to implement INF provisions. Such concern was most recently voiced to journalists in May by US Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller. At that time she said the matter concerned Russia’s development of a ground-launched cruise missile.

However, Gottemoeller did not specify back then which type of the missile she exactly meant. Nevertheless, according to diplomatic and military sources, the missile in question could have been a sea-launched cruise missile, which Russia is currently developing and which is not a subject to INF provisions. The missile was test launched from the ground to trial its test and technical characteristics and as a result provoked discontent in Washington.

But at the same time, according to Russian experts, the United States had repeatedly violated and continues violating INF provisions.

Gen. Maj. Midykhat Vildanov, a professor with the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, said Americans were regularly violating provisions of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by test launching Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) missiles, designed to intercept ballistic missiles in the mid-course of their flying trajectory. Interceptor missiles of this class are deployed in Alaska and at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The Americans, he said, are also sidestepping the treaty by developing medium and intermediate target missiles to exercise missile interception tasks. Moreover, the professor continued, avoiding consultations with Russia, the United States introduced such term as ‘intermediate range,’ refused demonstrations of the target missiles and their distinctive features, denied disclosing information on launching locations of target missiles and their movements.

As a result, in violation to the INF provisions the United States developed a new intermediate missile for air defense exercises of their interceptor missiles. It eventually helped the Americans to carry out 22 successful missile interceptions and put into service a new missile of SM-3 (Standard Missile 3) class and begin deployment of the Aegis ballistic missile defense system armed with such missiles in Romania.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987. In line with the treaty obligations, the Soviet Union scrapped a total of 1,752 missiles and 845 missile launching systems, three facilities manufacturing missiles and launching systems and 69 operational missile bases. The United States in turn eliminated a total of 859 missiles and 283 missile launching systems, seven facilities manufacturing missiles and launching systems and 9 operational missile bases.


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