Russia Decries U.S. Missile Test, Warns of Destabilization

The U.S. military on Sunday flight-tested a ground-launched version of a cruise missile that was previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

U.S. launch of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile off the coast of California, August 18, 2019.
Scott Howe,AP

A top Russian diplomat has lamented the U.S. test of a type of missile that was banned for decades before both Washington and Moscow quit the treaty earlier this year.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in comments to the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday expressed concern that the United States is increasing "the destabilizing potential" of the issue.

Ryabkov also said that the test proved Russia's earlier suspicions that the U.S. was testing the banned missiles even before it withdrew from the treaty.

The U.S. military on Sunday flight-tested a ground-launched version of a cruise missile off the coast of California. The missile was previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will abandon a centerpiece nuclear arms treaty, following in the footsteps of the United States, and that Moscow will only deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles if Washington does so.

Putin spoke shortly after the U.S. announced it was pulling the plug on the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty over alleged Russian violations.