Russian Federation 'has deployed missile in violation of treaty'

"The administration is undertaking an extensive review of Russia's ongoing INF treaty violation in order to assess the potential security implications for the United States and its allies and partners", State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

The missile is said to be in violation of a 1987 treaty that bans American and Russian intermediate-range missiles on land.

The "new" violation appears entirely speculative, and based on the fact that the Pentagon, which had previously designated the missiles the SSC-X-8, had removed the X in some recent reports, changing the name to SSC-8.

While the exact date of the launch was not disclosed, Moscow's secret development of an SSC-8 missile had been flagged by the Obama administration back in 2014. This must be what Trump was talking about on January 7 when he tweeted, "When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now".

United States defense secretary James Mattis is scheduled to meet with allied defense ministers in Brussels on Wednesday, where he is expected to address the Russian military showdown oppose North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations.

The alleged violation complicates the outlook for US-Russia relations amid turmoil on President Donald Trump's national security team.

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Asked why Trump kept Flynn, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Tuesday, "The irony of this entire situation is that the president has been incredibly tough on Russian Federation".

Before leaving his post a year ago as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commander, General Philip M. Breedlove warned that deployment of a Russian cruise missile would be a military threat that "can't go unanswered".

Senator Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority leader called for an independent and transparent probe into the resignation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn. However, Russian lawmakers have told Russian news outlets it won't.

Trump himself, though, repeatedly praised Putin on the campaign trail as well as since being elected, while offering few if any criticisms.

According to the Stoltenberg, the INF treaty played a large part in eliminating nuclear weapons that threatened Europe and NATO allies, and attacks on the treaty could harm worldwide security. One is at a missile test site called Kapustin Yar and a second was moved to an operational based somewhere in Russian Federation after being moved in December from a test site. It also did not clarify when the cruise missiles were actually deployed.

  • Alfonso Moody