The United States has begun work on new missiles following the decision to suspend the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.
CNN quoted Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza as saying, “We will commence fabrication activities on components to support developmental testing of conventional, ground-launched missiles.”
Baldanza noted that prior to Trump administration’s decision, developing of these missiles would have been “inconsistent with our obligations under the Treaty”. She, however, asserted that the missile under work was non-nuclear.
“This research and development is designed to be reversible, should Russia return to full and verifiable compliance before we withdraw from the Treaty in August 2019,” she added.
US President Donald Trump suspended the historic INF Treaty, a 1987 arms-control agreement, stating that the US plans to pull out of the pact due to Russian violations.
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order suspending Russia’s compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with immediate effect.
The text of the order published on the Kremlin website read, “In accordance with Item 4 of Article 37 of the Federal Law No. 101-FZ dated July 15, 1995, On International Treaties of the Russian Federation, to suspend the implementation of the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles of December 8, 1987, until the United States of America rectifies its violations of the said Treaty or until it expires.”