U.S. says Russia violated 1987 arms treaty by testing cruise missile

The United States has found that Russia violated a 1987 arms control treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile, a senior U.S. official said Monday, calling the matter “very serious”. Russia tested a ground-launched cruise missile, breaking the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed in 1987 during the Cold War, the U.S. said. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), signed by then U.S. president Ronald Reagan and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev, eliminated nuclear and conventional intermediate range (500-5,500km) ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.

We encourage Russia to return to compliance with its obligations under the treaty and to eliminate any prohibited items in a verifiable manner.

U.S. official

The announcement adds a new dispute at a time of already heightened tensions between Washington and the Kremlin over the crisis in Ukraine, with western countries accusing Russia of arming Ukrainian separatists and destabilizing the country.