The U.S. government is investigating violations by Russia of the treaty on the elimination of medium and short range missiles from 1987. There are no formal conclusions yet, but the Americans have already warned their NATO partners. The countries are in a latent struggle to strengthen their own military positions. Recently Russia has been raising the question of Russia's unilateral withdrawal from the Treaty because it is outdated.
The New York Times stated in its article that in 2008 Russia began flight tests of two-stage ground-based cruise missile RS- 26 that falls under the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The Treaty on the elimination of medium-range nuclear missiles prohibits the U.S. and Russia from producing, testing and deploying ballistic and cruise missiles, and land-based missiles of medium (1,000 to 5,500 kilometers) and short (500 to 1,000 kilometers) range.
The newspaper warned that missile RS-26 was solely intended to fill the gap left in the missile potential of Russia as a result of the limitation of INF. It is further reported that in mid-January, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller informed NATO of the U.S. concerns.
The U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that there was an ongoing investigation and interagency analysis of whether the treaty was violated. She added that consultations with Russia have been ongoing for many months. Psaki confirmed that a violation was yet to be determined and made no formal charges against Russia. The U.S. Congressmen from the Republican Party have taken a tough stance, calling the White House to immediately obtain compliance with the agreements from Moscow. Seventeen Republican senators introduced a bill that requires the government to report to Congress on alleged violations of the 1987 treaty.
The countries are in a latent struggle to strengthen their own military positions. Recently Russia raised the issue of a unilateral withdrawal from the Treaty due to its being outdated. China, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia have medium-range missiles. Geographically, all seven states in possession of these missiles are within reach of the Russian territory (including China, India, Israel, Pakistan with nuclear missile equipment), and some of them (China, North Korea, Turkey) are capable of reaching outlying RF with shorter-range missiles. But the Americans believe that Russia is doing everything to preserve and develop its nuclear forces that are the only real deterrent because Russia has not been successful in developing conventional weapons. In this context, in 2013 in Berlin Obama proposed to reduce nuclear arsenals by a third, but Russia did not agree. According to the New York Times, the Obama administration does not raise the issue of compliance because the tested Russian missiles can be formally considered intercontinental since their flight range exceeds 5,500 kilometers stipulated in the agreement. The United States is concerned that they could be easily transformed into medium-range missiles. According to intelligence estimates, Russia conducted its in-flight tests within the intermediate range, wrote the New York Times.
"These allegations do not correspond to reality. Russia is complying with its obligations, bilateral and international agreements," told Pravda.Ru Igor Korotchenko, chief editor of the National Defense. "This is a unilateral interpretation of the Americans that attributes alleged violations to us. The missile in question is called the RS -26 "Frontier." The Americans argue that it is a medium-range missile, but it is an intercontinental ballistic missile."
"Nobody prohibits the RF from developing new types of intercontinental missiles. The Americans have technical controls through which they can monitor our launching activities. This missile fits under the START-3 and is not related to missiles of medium and short range. These accusations are either malicious lies or incorrect interpretation of the intelligence data. They cannot claim any legal charges, so it's their problem," said the expert.
"MS - 26 is a solid-fuel ICBM with advanced reentry warhead," stated the website of the Russian military industrial complex. "RS -26 is the working title (like "Vanguard" and "Frontier"), a prototype of intercontinental ballistic missile based on "Yars" and "Topol-M" undergoing flight tests. "The rocket will be lighter than "Yars," 80 tons, it has smaller size and better survivability. This is a mobile missile system that can be put on different soils in different position areas. According to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, "neither modern nor future U.S. missile defense system will be able to keep the missile from reaching its target."
Commander of the Strategic Missile Forces Colonel General Sergey Karakayev said that in 2012, the RS-26 was launched from the 1st state test spaceport Plesetsk on the Kura test site at a distance of over 5,600 thousand kilometers.
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