RS-24 Yars ballistic missiles. © Photo Defense Ministry press service
Treaty Cheating -- Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon
Russia said to be violating 1987 missile accord.
Russia is engaged in a major violation of the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the United States by building a new medium-range missile banned under the accord, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
Disclosure of the treaty violation comes as President Barack Obama last week called for a new round of arms negotiations with Moscow aimed at cutting deployed nuclear warheads by one-third.
Intelligence officials said internal assessments identified Russia’s new Yars M missile that was tested earlier this month as an INF missile with a range of less than 5,500 kilometers.
“The intelligence community believes it’s an intermediate-range missile that [the Russians] have classified as an ICBM because it would violate the INF treaty” if its true characteristics were known, said one official.
However, Russia is denying its new Yars M missile represents an INF violation.
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My Comment: Russia is presently undergoing a massive modernization program to update it's military to 21rst century standards. Nuclear missile systems are an integral part of this modernization .... and they have made it very clear that they are not going to bend on an issue that they see is essential to their long term security .... a modernization program that includes these specific missile systems. As to what is my take .... Russian authorities have refused to disclose the basic technical specifications for these systems .... a development that is raising even more doubts.
Update: Putin's Cheatin' Heart: Russia Snubs '87 Missile Pact -- IBD Editorial