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RussiaRussia violates landmark arms-control treaty by secretly deploying banned cruise missile

Published 14 February 2017

The Trump administration may be facing its first challenge from Russia as news emerged that Russia had secretly deployed a new cruise missile. The development and deployment of the cruise missile violates a landmark arms control treaty, signed in 1987 – the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) — which prohibited the development and deployment by the United States and Russia of land-based intermediate-range missiles.

President Reagan and Premier Gorbachev // Source: theconversation.com

The Trump administration may be facing its first challenge from Russia as news emerged that Russia had secretly deployed a new cruise missile. The development and deployment of the cruise missile violates a landmark arms control treaty, signed in 1987 – the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) — which prohibited the development and deployment by the United States and Russia of land-based intermediate-range missiles.

The New York Times reports that in 2014, the Obama administration said that Russia had tested the cruise missile in violation of a 1987 treaty.

TheTimes reports that Russia has two battalions of the prohibited cruise missile — one is still located at Russia’s missile test site at Kapustin Yar in the country’s southeast.

Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine said the news was not entirely surprising given the Obama administration’s warning three years ago.

He told the Independent said that while the deployment of cruise missiles by Russia would not affect the United States, unless they were deployed near Alaska, countries in Europe and Asia would be alarmed.

The deployment would also complicate Trump’s efforts to improve U.S.-Russia relations. “The prospect of there being a change in U.S.-Russia relations has just had another problem thrown into the pot,” Pifer said.