U.S. walks back threat to 'take out' Russian missiles

U.S. walks back threat to 'take out' Russian missiles

"By the American people?", Zakharova said on Tuesday.

The treaty "is in danger because of Russia's actions", Stoltenberg said, adding, "all Allies agree that the most plausible assessment would be that Russian Federation is in violation of the treaty".

Striking Russian missile facilities in Russia could very likely trigger war and would require a massive U.S. military effort.

Asked what countermeasures the USA would take to the alleged treaty violation, Hutchison replied, "The countermeasures would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russian Federation in violation of the treaty".

Nato claims the 9M729 system contravenes the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF.

Russian Federation has also long complained that the United States is violating the treaty, pointing to the Aegis Ashore missile interceptor sites in Romania, and soon Poland, as being capable of launching Tomahawk missiles.

Signed in 1987, the INF Treaty required the USA and Soviet Union to eliminate and permanently commit not to develop nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,000 kilometres.

While Russia has denied that the system violates the INF, NATO says the treaty is in jeopardy of unraveling.

Death toll in Indonesia quake-tsunami tops 800
People are queuing up at roadside stalls, buying petrol in bottles to take into the affected area and to find missing loved ones. He said thousands of houses, hospitals, shopping malls and hotels collapsed and a landslide has cut off Palu's main highway.

Hutchison also says: "We are trying not to do anything that would violate the treaty on our side, which allows research, but not going forward into development, and we are carefully keeping the INF Treaty requirements on our side, while Russian Federation is violating".

The US Army awarded a contract worth more than $1.5 billion for the production of a Patriot missile defence radar to be purchased by Poland, adding another piece to that country's emerging air defence system.

"One of the reasons I'm here this week.is I want advice from Nato nations, what do we do with a treaty that two nations entered into, one is still living by - that's us, the United States - and Russian Federation isn't?", the U.S. defence secretary, James Mattis, said in Paris, prior to a meeting of Nato defence ministers in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday.

The US threatened to counter-measures against Russian missile development sites over what it considers production of banned nuclear-capable missiles. Although U.S. officials have long denied that is the objective of their missile defense efforts, Hutchison's comments fed directly into the Russian concerns.

"It is therefore urgent", he went on, "that Russian Federation addresses these concerns in a substantial and transparent manner". Under the treaty, almost 2,700 missiles had been eliminated by May 1991.

Stoltenberg warned the INF is "in danger" due to Russia's actions.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is preparing for one of its "biggest exercises in many years", with 45,000 troops due to participate in the Trident Juncture maneuver in Norway later this month, the alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Tuesday.

"They are building a medium-range ballistic missile in violation of the INF". The treaty was the first that completely eliminated an entire class of offensive nuclear weapons and removed a considerable number of nuclear weapons from the European continent on both sides.

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