Russia is reportedly arguing that its new cruise missile system does not violate a Cold War-era treaty with the U.S.
Reuters reported on Monday that U.S. and NATO officials said that Russia has acknowledged that it has the system, but says it does not violate the agreement, which has kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for 30 years.
Robert Wood, the U.S. disarmament ambassador, earlier Monday called on Russia to destroy the missile at the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament.
The U.S. has planned to withdraw from the 1987 INF treaty in two weeks, but officials said Russia still has time to destroy the system.
Wood called the Russian system a “potent and direct threat to Europe and Asia” that is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.
“Unfortunately, the United States increasingly finds that Russia cannot be trusted to comply with its arms control obligations and that its coercive and malign actions around the globe have increased tensions,” Wood said.
A Russian diplomat, however, told Reuters that Moscow won’t “yield to any ultimatums like to liquidate or to eliminate a missile that doesn’t fall within the range of the treaty protections.”