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01:43 PM, March 9, 2017
Russia Refuses Nuclear Arms Violations With US
A Russian Topol intercontinental ballistic missile launcher

Russia has denied an accusation by a top US general that Russia violated an arms control treaty with US by deploying a land-based cruise missile system.

"Russia has been, remains and will continue to be committed to all its international obligations, including those resulting from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Russia has deployed a land-based cruise missile system, violating a 1987 US-Russia arms control treaty and poses a risk to NATO countries.

The missile system's deployment "violates the spirit and intent" of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), General Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was quoted as saying to lawmakers by various media Wednesday.

However, it was first open accusation by US military of the deployment after reports appeared last month that Russia had secretly deployed the ground-launched SSC-8 cruise missile that Moscow has been developing and testing for several years, despite US complaints that it violated sections of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

The treaty was negotiated during the Cold War by president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, banning intermediate-range missiles from US and Russian arsenals.

The 1987 INF treaty put an end to a mini-arms race triggered by the Soviet Union's deployment of SS-20 nuclear missiles targeting Western European capitals.

"The system itself presents a risk to most of our facilities in Europe and we believe that the Russians have deliberately deployed it in order to pose a threat to NATO and to facilities within the NATO area of responsibility," Selva said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

Russia responded, saying it has not violated the treaty and has accused Washington of doing so. Moscow also argued that the missile defense system, the United States deployed in Poland and Romania could be used if necessary to launch missiles toward Russia.

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