A senior Russian military official has accused the United States of sabotaging a Cold War-era arms control treaty by accusing Moscow of violations and laying the groundwork for new sanctions.
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered his administration last week to draw up new measures against Russian state officials for deploying a cruise missile with a range that allegedly violates the 1987 INF Treaty. Russia has denied that the missile violates the pact, which bans testing and fielding missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 kilometers (310-3,417 miles).
“A strident propaganda campaign has been launched surrounding the INF Treaty,” Sergei Ryzhkov, the head of the defense ministry's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, wrote in the ministry-affiliated Redstar.ru publication.
“Under this clamor, the U.S. is gearing up toward the destruction of the INF Treaty, which seriously impedes the implementation of their plans,” Ryzhkov wrote.
The U.S. deploys ballistic missiles, combat drones and missile defense systems in Eastern Europe in violation of the INF Treaty, he said.
The official also claimed that Trump is using claims of Russian violations to pursue the development of a multimillion-dollar cruise missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.