With NATO’s Backing, US Gives Putin 60-Day Notice to Comply With Missile Treaty

CNS News | 12/4/2018 | Staff
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(CNSNews.com) – Accusing Russia of deploying missiles threatening Europe in violation of a Cold War-era arms control treaty, the Trump administration on Tuesday gave Russia 60 days to return to compliance, failing which the United States will itself withdraw.

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came after he secured strong support in Brussels from NATO counterparts, many of whose countries are directly threatened by the ground-launched cruise missiles in question.

Pompeo - Moscow - Violation - Nuclear - Forces

Pompeo characterized Moscow’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as part of a “larger pattern of Russian lawlessness on the world stage.”

He cited its military intervention in Georgia and Ukraine, election meddling, the attempted assassination on British soil of former spy Sergei Skripal, and last week’s seizure of Ukrainian navy vessels in the Black Sea’s Kerch Strait.

Administration - US - Russia - Development - Cruise

The administration says the U.S. has been challenging Russia since 2013 over its development of a cruise missile named SSC-8 (Russian designation 9M729), which Pompeo said has been flight-tested and is now deployed in “multiple battalions.”

After years of Russian denials and obfuscation, he said, only when the U.S. last November made public the name of the missile did Moscow for the first time even admit its existence.

Point - Pompeo - Russia - Cover - Story

And at that point, Pompeo added, “Russia changed its cover story from the missile that does not exist to the missile that exists but is treaty-compliant.”

The U.S.-Soviet treaty, which entered into force in mid-1988, outlawed all ground-launched cruise or ballistic missile with ranges between roughly 300 and 3,400 miles. Under it, the U.S. and Soviet Union destroyed some 2,700 missiles including Pershing IIs and SS-20s.

INF-class - Missile - Russians - US - Allies

A new INF-class missile wielded by the Russians would not directly threaten the U.S., but could target allies and partners in Europe with nuclear or conventional warheads, with little to no early warning.

NATO foreign ministers threw their support behind the U.S. stance...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNS News
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