The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia believes that the United States violated their bilateral deal on intermediate-range nuclear forces when it installed Mk 41 vertical launching systems in Eastern Europe.
Russia believes that the United States violated their bilateral deal on intermediate-range nuclear forces when it installed Mk 41 vertical launching systems in Eastern Europe, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
The 1987 INF Treaty banned nuclear and conventional ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles.
“We have grounds to regard land-based Mk 41s as cruise missile launching systems and their deployment on the ground as a direct INF violation by the US side,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
When installed on warships, Mk 41s can be used for launching both SM-3 interceptor missiles and medium to range Tomahawk cruise missiles. Several Mk 41s are currently stationed in Romania and will be later redeployed to Poland.
This came in response to continued US accusations that Moscow is not fulfilling its INF Treaty obligations. Washington alleges that Moscow tested a ground-launched cruise missile in violation of the INF Treaty.The Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated on Wednesday that Moscow considered such accusations to be baseless and accused Washington of using these claims to justify its “response” measures.
US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Brian McKeon said earlier today that the Pentagon was developing a “comprehensive response” to Russia’s alleged military actions irrespective of Moscow’s answer.
“The aim of this deceptive move is obvious – it is to cast a shadow on our arms controls and to deflect attention from US actions,” the Russian statement read.
It accused the United States of piling military infrastructure at the Russian border and refusing to discuss the problem. “The situation with the treaty is shamelessly used to escalate the atmosphere of chronic military tension across the Euro-Atlantic space,” the Ministry said.
Speaking at the House Armed Services Committee, Brian McKeon said that the United States would increase its rotational forces and military exercises in NATO’s eastern flank, and preposition military hardware in Europe.