US to test banned missiles

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President Donald Trump announced last month the United States would unilaterally withdraw from the treaty, pointing towards Russian 9M729 cruise missile, which American officials claim violates the treaty limitations.

The projects expected to be launched include a low-flying cruise missile with a potential range of about 1,000 km and a ballistic missile with a range of roughly 3,000-4,000 km, reported US media citing anonymous Pentagon officials.

Signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the INF Treaty was widely viewed as a breakthrough in arms control. "If Russia and the U.S. were to reach a deal to rescue the INF treaty before August, these projects would not go forward", the news agency said. But Trump withdrew from the treaty on February 1 and triggered a formal six-month wait period before the final expiry of the agreement this summer.

The United States is mulling starting testing later this year types of missiles that were banned by a decades-old nuclear treaty, US media reported on Wednesday. He was not specific, but defense officials on Wednesday spelled out a plan for developing two non-INF compliant, non-nuclear missiles.

In an earlier statement in February, US President Donald Trump announced that Washington would be suspending its obligations under the provisions of the INF Treaty starting on 2 February. Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to design new weapons banned under the pact but said he would deploy them only if the United States does. Trump said during the event the U.S.is issuing an emergency order grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft "effective immediately", in the wake of the crash of an Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people.

"We haven't engaged any of our allies about formal deployment", the senior official said.

The United Nations has also asked both the countries to save the treaty. It may be tested as soon as November 2019, but would likely not see deployment for five years after that. "On the contrary, we demonstrated to all, using arguments and proof, that it is precisely the United States that became the source of dismantling this document since it in fact made breaches (of this treaty)", the Kremlin spokesman said. "We need high-precision missiles and we are not going to repeat the mistakes of the Budapest memorandum", he added in a reference to the 1994 agreement which led to Ukraine dismantling its large Soviet-era nuclear arsenal. Russian Federation denied the allegations and accused the United States of violating the pact through its missile defense installations in Europe - accusations the State Department refuted.

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