United States believes Russian Federation deployed new missile in treaty violation

The comments came after USA media reported that unnamed officials in the Trump administration had allegedly accused Moscow of deploying ground-launched cruise missiles in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The deployment of a fully operation unit of the SSC-8 ground-launched intermediate-range missiles presents a major challenge to US president Donald Trump and the US-Russia relations, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.

Jeffrey Lewis, the founding publisher of Arms Control Wonk, told Business Insider in an interview that b ecause the violating missiles are so embedded in Russia's conventional, legal missile production they represent a "compliance nightmare" that would take " a lot of time and luck" to diplomatically persuade Russian Federation to stop making and deploying the missiles to comply with the treaty.

Armed with surface-to-air missiles, the ship is capable of intercepting communications and can measure U.S. Navy sonar capability, an official said.

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The Obama administration expressed its concern over the test of the missile, then known as the SSC-X-8, in 2014.

The alleged treaty violation may arise when U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis attends his first NATO meeting in Brussels on February 15. The position remains empty after Michael Flynn was forced to resign from the position under allegations of misleading Vice President Mike Pence before Barack Obama left the white house.

It was also reported Tuesday that a Russian spy ship was seen off the coast of DE, and Russian military planes buzzed - or flew close to - a USA naval ship last week.

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Sen. John McCain of Arizona echoed the sentiment, saying the missiles pose a "significant military threat to U.S. forces in Europe and our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies", and that the move "requires a meaningful response".

By signing the INF Treaty toward the end of the Cold War, the United States and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agreed to stop the development and use of all ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometres.

The missiles are nuclear-capable, said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, dealing a hefty symbolic blow to nonproliferation efforts. One is still at the nation's missile test site and the other has been shipped to an unnamed operational base.

But because the USA upheld its end of the treaty, it has no comparable nuclear-capable cruise missiles with which to match Russian Federation.

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