Another nuclear pact with US in trouble: Russia

Mikhail Metzel  TASS

"Yars solid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile armed with multiple warheads was test-fired from the Plesetsk state testing spaceport", the Russian Defense Minister said, announcing the Wednesday morning test, Russia's Tass news agency reported.

The minister's remarks come after the United States suspended its obligations under the cold-war era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, triggering a mirrored response from Moscow. It confirmed that the missile successfully reached its target, a practice range in the country's far east.

"We will respond to them in a tit-for-tat manner", he stressed.

The INF Treaty was signed by the Soviet Union and the United States, and envisages the destruction of all nuclear-armed ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (about 300 to 3,400 miles).

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Russian Federation suspended the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty at the weekend after Washington announced it would withdraw in six months unless Russian Federation ends what it says are violations of the pact, allegations rejected by Moscow. Moscow denies violating the treaty. Putin's government has pushed back, saying the USA has violated the treaty and not provided any evidence of Russia's alleged infringements.

"I will make every possible effort to prevent it", he said.

Ryabkov stated Moscow will keep attempting to try to achieve assertion regardless of the disappointment of the discussions, yet blamed Washington for overlooking Russian grievances regarding USA missiles and of embracing what he called a ruinous position.

After announcing that his country would withdraw from the INF, Russian president Vladimir Putin added that Russia would begin work on new missiles and asked his ministers not to negotiate with Washington for disarmament. "That's not what we're thinking about right now", he said.

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