US threatens to take out Russian missiles over alleged breach of Cold War treaty

Americans are insisting, despite Russian denials, that Moscow has a new missile in its inventory that could wipe out a NATO country at very short notice

According to US officials, a new Russian missile in breach of Cold War treaty could wipe out any country in Europe at a moment's notice
According to US officials, a new Russian missile in breach of Cold War treaty could wipe out any country in Europe at a moment's notice

The US ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, said that Washington's relationship with Moscow once again intensified over a breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement of 1987. The US threatened that any missiles of this range, designed to target nearby regions, will be taken out. 

The treaty, signed by then Soviet leader Mihkail Gorbachev and former US President Ronald Reagan, banned a whole category of weapons: ground-launched medium-range missiles, capable of striking targets at distances between 500 and 5,500km.

US ambassador to Nato, Kay Bailey Hutchinson
US ambassador to Nato, Kay Bailey Hutchinson

While ambassador Hutchison said the US wants to find a diplomatic solution to this problem, any ambivalence on the part of the Russian administration could result in US taking military action.

Cold War 2.0 seems to be at its height with Trump saying earlier this year that relationship with Russia is the worst that it's ever been. He called for a stop to the arms race.

Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan sign the INF treaty in 1987
Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan sign the INF treaty in 1987

American officials are insisting to denial from the Russian administration that Moscow have a new medium-ranged missile in its inventory, the Novator 9M729, which NATO refer to as the SSC-8.

This would enable Russia to launch a nuclear strike at Nato countries at very short notice. The issue is bound to be high on the agenda when Nato defence ministers meet in Brussels later this year.

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