U.S. general says Russia deploys cruise missile, threatens NATO | Reuters
By Idrees Ali | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON 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.
By Idrees Ali
WASHINGTON 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.
In an interview with Reuters last month, President Donald Trump said he would raise the issue of the deployment with Russian President Vladimir Putin "if and when we meet."In 2014, the United States made a similar accusation. The State Department concluded in a report that Russia was in violation of its obligations under the INF treaty.
Russia accused Washington of conducting "megaphone diplomacy" after the accusation was repeated by the State Department in 2015. Moscow also denied it had violated the treaty, which helped end the Cold War. Questions have been raised about U.S. commitment to another nuclear weapons deal, the New START agreement, which caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads after Reuters reported that Trump told Putin it was a bad deal for the United States.During the Wednesday hearing, senior military officials strongly backed the treaty.
"I have stated for the record in the past, now I'll state again that I am a big supporter of the New START agreement," said Air Force General John Hyten, the head of U.S. Strategic Command."The risk would be an arms race, we are not in an arms race now," Hyten said. (Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Alistair Bell and Jonathan Oatis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.