Russia has violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile: US
The United States has found that Russia violated a 1987 arms control treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile, a senior US official said late Monday, calling the matter "very serious."
The announcement adds a new dispute at a time of already heightened tensions between Washington and the Kremlin over the crisis in Ukraine, with western countries accusing Russia of arming Ukrainian separatists and destabilizing the country.
The US concluded in a 2014 report that Russia had violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which barred it from possessing, producing or flight-testing such cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, the official told AFP.
President Barack Obama has sent a letter to his counterpart Vladimir Putin on the subject, which the administration official described as "a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now."
Washington was prepared to discuss its determination with Moscow "immediately" in senior-level bilateral talks, the official added, saying Congress and US allies have been kept abreast of the matter.
"The United States is committed to the viability of the INF Treaty," the official said. "We encourage Russia to return to compliance with its obligations under the treaty and to eliminate any prohibited items in a verifiable manner."
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), signed by then US president Ronald Reagan and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev, eliminated nuclear and conventional intermediate range ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.
The official said the INF treaty served the "mutual...
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