WASHINGTON, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday accused Russia of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
“The United States has determined, according to an intelligence analysis, that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF),” the spokesman claimed at a press briefing in Washington.
Josh Ernst alleged that Russia had violated the treaty’s obligations “not to possess, produce or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.”
“It is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now. The United States is committed to the viability of the INF Treaty. It is our view that the INF Treaty – and agreements that are part of it – are in the broad national security interest of every party that has agreed to that treaty,” the White House official said.
“This is a serious concern that we have raised with the Russians on a number of occasions through our standard diplomatic channels. I know that there’ve been reports that the President informed President Putin by a letter of our determination,” he noted.
In 1987, the Reagan administration concluded the INF Treaty with the Soviet Union. It prohibits the development, testing, possession, and deployment of INF-range (500- to 5,500-kilometer) ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.
The treaty has often been lauded as an example of successful arms control because it eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons.