Russia Has Reportedly Violated Major Nuke Treaty

It's 'testing' Trump, says John McCain
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2017 8:21 AM CST
Russia Has Reportedly Violated Major Nuke Treaty
Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.   (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Sen. John McCain says Russia is "testing" President Trump by deploying an operational cruise missile in violation of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty. Officials tell the New York Times that Russia has two battalions of the cruise missile inside the country—one at an operational base and another at a test site at Kapustin Yar—which is banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by the US and Russia in 1987. Russia—accused by the Obama administration of testing said missile in 2014—has tried to escape the agreement in recent years, with Vladimir Putin claiming in 2013 that "nearly all of our neighbors are developing these kinds of weapons systems." However, it has denied any violations and accused the US of its own breaches.

A NATO official says non-compliance with the treaty banning ground-launched intermediate-range and short-range missiles "is a serious concern for the alliance" but "NATO allies have the capabilities in place to ensure that Russia will not gain any military advantage." Still, some—including McCain—are calling for the US to take action by expanding missile defenses in Europe or deploying its own nuclear missiles, per the BBC. The State Department says Russia "remains in violation" of the treaty but has not said how it plans to respond. In recent days, Russia has also placed a spy ship in international waters off Delaware and flown aircraft within 1,000 yards of a US Navy warship in the Black Sea, reports CNN. Russia has denied that the flybys took place. (More Russia stories.)

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