Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy David Trachtenberg said on Monday, February 26 that cruise missile tests conducted by Russia violate Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty).
Trachtenberg claims that the SSC-8 ground-based cruise missile, which was assigned the 9M729 index in Russia, was developed and deployed "in violation of the INF Treaty."
"Moscow continues to undermine the Treaty on Open Skies and the Treaty on Conventional Arms in Europe," said Trachtenberg.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has previously accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty, and noted that this could lead to a new nuclear race in Europe.
In the fall of 2016, the US accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty and, for the first time in 16 years, demanded the convening of a Special Verification Commission.
An indefinite agreement on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles entered into force on June 1, 1988. The United States and the USSR (and after Russia, as its successor to it) pledged not to produce or test ballistic and cruise land-based missiles with ranges from 500 to 5,500 kilometers.