Russian Federation accuses U.S of stoking military tensions with missile test

Thursday, 22 Aug, 2019

In a similar stance with Russia, China has also voiced concern over a new USA missile test, warning of "increased military confrontation" and has said it will "launch a new round of arms race".

Russian Federation said the U.S. had "set the course for fomenting military tensions", and China expressed concerns that the United States would "trigger a new round of arms race".

Moscow has both denied the allegation and asserted that US missile-defense systems in Eastern Europe violated the treaty - a claim rejected by Washington.

"It is noteworthy that the test of an advanced Tomahawk-type missile was conducted just 16 days after the US withdrew from INF, and the treaty was terminated", Ryabkov told the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

The U.S. conducts a test flight of a conventionally-configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California, August 18.

It added that it was the first of such operation since the demise of a landmark Cold War-era nuclear pact this month.

Donald Trump suspended U.S. participation in the INF treaty in February and formally pulled out on August 2, when White House officials predicted the missile would be tested within weeks. The U.S. maintained that Russian Federation has been in repeated violation of the pact, which banned all land-based cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310 and 3,410 miles).

China also condemned the US missile test on Tuesday, warning that it could lead to "another round of the arms race" and negatively impact worldwide and regional security.

Officials stressed that the missile is created to carry a conventional and not a nuclear payload.

U.S. President Donald Trump suggested last week that the explosion happened during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile which has been touted by President Vladimir Putin.

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced the design and launch of new US missile systems.

Moscow rebutted those allegations, instead claiming that elements of the US' missile defence shield hosted by its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in Europe contravened the agreement.

On Tuesday, the Russian minister reportedly noted that the Kremlin would only deploy new missiles if the United States did first.

That all changed on Sunday with the Tomahawk launch. "We won't allow ourselves to be pulled into a costly arms race".

Hinting that the test was likely the beginning of a program to build additional weapons once barred by the treaty, it added: "Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform [the Department of Defense's] development of future intermediate-range capabilities".

"The traditional sense of an arms race has been in a nuclear context", he said.

Four global stations created to monitor nuclear activity have detected "an event coinciding with the [August 8] explosion in Nyonoksa, Russia", the world's main nuclear test-ban body said. "Russia has been racing, if anybody, to develop these systems in violation of the treaty, not us", reports NPR.

China did not respond positively to the news, warning that it won't let the United States put missiles on its "doorstep".