U.S. calls on Russia to destroy new
Send a link to a friend
[January 21, 2019]
By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States called
on Russia on Monday to destroy a new cruise missile system which it said
was a "direct and continuing violation" of the Intermediate-range
Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and accused Moscow of destabilizing global
Robert Wood, U.S. disarmament ambassador, said the system was capable of
carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads and represented a
"potent and direct threat to Europe and Asia" as it had a range of 500
to 1,500 kilometers (310-620 miles).
The United States last week rejected a Russian offer to save the
landmark INF treaty that keeps nuclear missiles out of Europe because it
could not be properly verified, setting the stage for Washington to
withdraw from the pact next month.
"Unfortunately, the United States increasingly finds that Russia cannot
be trusted to comply with its arms control obligations and that its
coercive and malign actions around the globe have increased tensions,"
Wood told the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament.
There was no immediate response from the Russian delegation at the
65-member state Geneva forum, which opened its 2019 session.
Russia has flight-tested the "illegal missile", known as the
SSC-8/9M729, and taken no concrete steps to return to compliance with
the INF pact, Wood said.
[to top of second column]
U.S. Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament Robert Wood attends
a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland,
April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
"Russia must verifiably destroy all SSC-8 missiles, launchers and
associated equipment in order to come back into compliance with the
INF Treaty," he said, reiterating the plan of Donald Trump's
administration to withdraw from the 1987 pact in early February.
Wood also decried Russian support for Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad and its providing Iran with "advanced weaponry such as the
S-300 missile defense system".
The nerve agent used in an attempt to assassinate former Russian spy
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, Britain last
March showed Russia's "reckless behavior" and failure to meet its
obligations under a treaty banning the use of chemical weapons, he
Britain says Russian GRU military intelligence agents poisoned the
Skripals with Novichok. Moscow denies involvement in the poisoning,
which the pair survived.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles; editing by
[© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2019 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.