A senior U.S. military official on Wednesday accused Russia of violating an arms control treaty by deploying a land-based cruise missile, a claim denied by Russia.
It was the first time that the U.S. military had publicly accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which bans intermediate-range ballistic missiles based on land.
Speaking here at a congressional hearing, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Paul Selva said the United States believed that the Russians "have deliberately deployed it in order to pose a threat to NATO and to facilities within the NATO area of responsibility."
After the U.S. media claimed last month that Russia had so-called secretly deployed a ground-based nuclear cruise missile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied the accusation, saying that "Russia was and remains committed to its international obligations, including the INF agreement."
In 1987, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and then Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which bans intermediate-range ballistic missiles based on land.