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 Obama Officially Accuses Putin of Violating 1987 Treaty on Intermediate-Range Missiles

The Obama administration has determined that Russia violated a 1987 treaty on intermediate-range missiles by testing a ground-launched cruise missile, a senior administration official said.

Accordingto the Washington Post, The violation, which began some years ago,is included in a 2014 compliance report on the treaty to bereleased Tuesday and was the subject of a letter President Obamasent Monday to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Censor.NET writes.

"This isa very serious matter which we have attempted to address withRussia for some time now," the official said. "We encourage Russiato return to compliance with its obligations . . . and to eliminateany prohibited items in a verifiable manner."

It wasunclear how long the testing lasted, or whether it was ongoing. Theofficial, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that "wehave notified Russia of our determination and are prepared todiscuss this in a senior-level bilateral dialogueimmediately."

Obama'sletter to Putin was first reported online Monday by the New YorkTimes, which said that Russia began testing the missiles in 2008and that the State Department first raised the possibility of aviolation with Russian officials in 2013. At the time, the papersaid, Russia said it had looked into the matter and considered itclosed.

TheIntermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed by PresidentsRonald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, prohibits possession,production or flight testing of a ground-launched cruise missilewith a range of 300 to 3,400 miles, or possession or production oflaunchers of such missiles.

News ofthe alleged violation comes as relations between the United Statesand Russia are seriously strained over Russia's backing ofseparatist fighters in eastern Ukraine. Obama administrationofficials have said that, despite their growing differences and theimposition of U.S. economic sanctions over Ukraine, Moscow hascontinued to cooperate with Washington on a range of nuclear andother foreign policy issues.

Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n295938