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Russia concerned over US plans to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Asia-Pacific

The sides hashed over the prospects for interaction between the two countries’ Security Councils, among other

MOSCOW, August 27. /TASS/. Russia is concerned over the US plans to deploy intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific Region, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said on Tuesday.

Russia’s security chief made this statement at the Russian-Malaysian consultations on security in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, the Security Council’s press office said.

"The sides discussed the situation in the Asia-Pacific Region," the press office issued a statement. "Nikolai Patrushev voiced his concern over the US plans to deploy intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific Region."

During his visit to Malaysia, Russia’s security chief held working meetings with the Malaysian defense minister and the country’s National Security Council director general and inter-agency consultations with the participation of representatives of some ministries and departments. On Russia’s behalf, the consultations involved representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Foreign, Interior and Defense Ministries, the Federal Security Service (FSB), the aviation watchdog Rosaviatsiya and the Security Council staff.

Specifically, the meetings "discussed the prospects of interaction between the two countries’ Security Councils, including as part of the Russia-ASEAN partnership, military and military-technical cooperation, the joint activity of Russia and Malaysia in the fight against drug trafficking, organized crime and extremism," the statement reads.

"Besides, the consultations focused on the war on international terrorism and maritime piracy, the issues of coastal protection, interaction in ensuring international information security," the Russian Security Council’s press office said.

INF Treaty: inception, termination and follow-up

On August 2, Washington formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987. It applied to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington repeatedly accused Russia of violating the accord, but Moscow vehemently dismissed all accusations and, in its turn, expressed grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.

Following Washington’s withdrawal, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the Treaty had been terminated from August 2 on the United States’ initiative.

On August 18, the US conducted a flight test of a conventionally-configured ground-launched cruise missile. The US tested the cruise missile for the first time after withdrawing from the INF Treaty. The missile was fired to a range of over 500km, which was prohibited by the INF Treaty.

US officials numerously spoke about the possible flight test of a land-based cruise missile in late August. The Pentagon said in mid-March that a Tomahawk missile could be tested to a range of about 1,000 km. Also, the US Department of Defense plans to test a land-based intermediate-range ballistic missile in November. As the Pentagon says, a completely new missile similar to the Pershing II will be tested. The US Pershing II missiles had been eliminated by 1991 under the INF Treaty.

Russian President Putin gave instructions on August 23 to analyze the threat level in the wake of the US test of the new cruise missile modification and take measures for preparing a symmetric response.