By Michael Hernandez
For its part, Russia has sternly denied violating the INF treaty, and voiced its own objections to Washington’s deployment of air defense systems in Eastern Europe – a claim Kofman said is “dubious.”
The INF Treaty prohibits the deployment of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles, and called on the parties to destroy their arsenals of such missiles with ranges of 500 – 5,500 kilometers.
“The United States should respond by trying to work with the Russians to clear up this violation – to get it settled,” said John Isaacs – a senior fellow at Council for a Livable World – who has been working on U.S.-Russian relations since the 1970s. “There’s no reason for the United States to consider deploying additional intermediate range missiles in Europe.”
Russia has yet to deploy the new missile, but doing so could prompt a heavy-handed response from Washington.
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Washington is contemplating a host of “aggressive responses” to Russia’s alleged violations of the treaty that include sending ground-launched missiles to Europe or Asia, and ground-launched medium-range ballistic missiles that can adjust the trajectory of their warheads when they re-enter the atmosphere en route to a target.
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