Currents News Staff
The relationship between the U.S. and Russia may turn rocky.
A senior U.S. defense official has said that the U.S. is preparing to test a new non-nuclear mobile-launched cruise missile, developed specifically to challenge Russia in Europe.
The move comes as the U.S. exits the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that then-presidents Reagan and Gorbachev signed, placing limits on building missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
“We can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on one of the few topics where the Trump and Obama administrations see eye-to-eye.
“Russia has cheated or is cheating on treaties,” explained Defense Secretary Mark Esper. “Give the Obama administration high marks for calling them out and trying to work this.”
The U.S. has repeatedly claimed that Russia violated the deal. The defense official has said the country has deployed “multiple battalions” on launch vehicles that U.S. intelligence could have trouble tracking.
“The threat is not American withdrawal from the INF treaty, the threat are the Russian missiles already deployed,” said National Security Adviser John Bolton.
If tensions rise enough to start a war, U.S. officials say Russian targets would include European ports and cities.