The Kremlin, on Thursday, rejected US accusations that it had violated the “spirit and intent” of an arms control treaty.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters: “Russia was, is and will abide by all international obligations, including those coming from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty… even when it is not entirely in Russia’s interests,”
Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva said on Wednesday that Russia had deployed a land-based cruise missile that violates the “spirit and intent” of an arms control treaty and poses a threat to NATO.
Gen. Selva confirmed on Capitol Hill the deployment of the land-based missile violates the “spirit and intent” of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Selva’s remarks Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee were the U.S. military’s first public confirmation of reports last month that Russia had secretly positioned them.
He testified that the deployment poses “risk to most of our facilities in Europe.” He added the move is an attempt by Russia to threaten the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Former President Barack Obama’s administration said the “SSC-8” cruise missile had been tested in 2014, violating the treaty that bans US and Russian intermediate-range missiles on land.
The violation was first raised with Russian officials in 2013 by deputy secretary- general of NATO Rose Gottemoeller, who was then the State Department’s highest-ranking arms control official during the Obama administration.
After several years of frustration, the US convened a meeting of a special panel created under the treaty to deal with arms compliance matters last November 2016 in Geneva.
It was the first meeting in 13 years of the panel, which is comprised of the United States, Russia and the former Soviet republics of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
Russia denied it had violated the treaty and, in turn, accused the U. S. of violations. (Reuters/NAN)