NATIONAL SECURITY/NATO/RUSSIA: “Russia has deployed a land-based cruise missile that violates the ‘spirit and intent’ of an arms control treaty and poses a threat to NATO, Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Paul Selva said on Wednesday.
It was the first public accusation by the U.S. military of the deployment after reports said last month that Russia had secretly deployed the ground-launched SSC-8 cruise missile that Moscow has been developing and testing for several years, despite U.S. complaints that it violated sections of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
‘The system itself presents a risk to most of our facilities in Europe and we believe that the Russians have deliberately deployed it in order to pose a threat to NATO and to facilities within the NATO area of responsibility,’ Selva said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing. The Air Force general did not say whether the missile was capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.
Selva said the United States had brought up the issue with Russia. He did not say what options were being considered if the discussions did not lead to results, but added that ‘we have been asked to incorporate a set of options into the nuclear posture review.’
‘I don’t have enough information on their intent to conclude other than they do not intend to return to compliance,’ he added.”
–Idrees Ali, “U.S. general says Russia deploys cruise missile, threatens NATO,” Reuters, March 8, 2017