The Pentagon has threatened Russia with redeploying nuclear cruise missiles to Europe, accusing Moscow of violating two arms control treaties.
“We don’t have ground-launched cruise missiles in Europe now obviously because they’re prohibited by the treaty,” said Brian McKeon, principal deputy undersecretary for policy at the Department of Defense.
“But that would obviously be one option to explore,” he added.
Washington says Moscow violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
However, Russia denied the allegation and said the testing of a ground-launched cruise missile in July 2014 was in compliance with the INF treaty.
Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller announced that US President Barack Obama has written his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about the violation.
Gottemoeller said that the United States were considering a list of “military countermeasures” against Russia.
McKeon also warned Russia not to engage in an “escalatory cycle of action and reaction.”
He said Russian and US counter-actions “will make Russia less secure.”
“This violation will not go unanswered, because there is too much at stake,” he said.
Russia says the US missile plans across the globe are a real threat not only to Russia but also to the whole world, adding the missile systems harm the strategic balance of forces across the globe.
In October, the US military commissioned its new missile base in southern Romania amid strong opposition by Russia.
The military base will be the first to feature the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile system and it will be operational by the end of 2015.
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