Russia Conducts Test of Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile

US pulls out of nuclear treaty with Russia that's been a centrepiece since the Cold War

Moscow's top minister said Russian Federation must build a new land-based cruise missile and a new land-based hypersonic missile by 2021 in response to the USA withdrawal from a major arms-control treaty with the country.

Sergei Shoigu's statement follows the USA decision to suspend its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty over alleged Russian violations.

Tomihisa Taue issued a statement in connection with the United States notice to Russian Federation that Washington intends to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The 32-year-old treaty required parties to destroy ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 km (310 to 3,420 miles). "In this situation, the Russian president has set the task for the Defense Ministry to take tit-for-tat mirrored measures", Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Tuesday, according to Russia's Tass news agency. But he also said work should begin on a new project to develop a hypersonic land-based intermediate-range missile. At the end of last week, the Trump administration announced it would withdraw from the decades-old pact, accusing Moscow of violating its terms.

The INF was signed in 1987, during the Cold War, to ease a crisis in which USA and Soviet missiles were placed within range of European capitals. "The steady drawdown of Cold War stockpiles in pursuit of global zero is vital to the national security interests of the United States, its allies and the world", Johnson said.

"It can not be excluded that one of the Poseidon with a 100 megaton nuclear warhead will lay low off the U.S. coast, becoming 'the doomsday weapon.' Thus an attack on Russian Federation, will become a suicidal misadventure", the paper states.

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"The issue of missiles under the treaty is directly linked to security in East Asia".

"This is Russia's final opportunity to return to compliance", Wood said. Now, China and others such as Pakistan, India, and North Korea, are thought to have such capability-and they are not bound by the INF treaty.

Russian Federation conducted a partially successful test of its developmental nuclear-powered cruise missile, the Burevestnik, on January 29, 2019, according to USA government sources with knowledge of Russia's weapons programs who spoke to the The Diplomat.

The mission comes with Europe increasingly anxious about security as tensions rise between Washington and Moscow.

Ground-launched missiles were banned under the INF, but not sea or air-launched ones, which Russian Federation already possesses and that can be used to create the new systems. The missile, with a maximum range of at least 4,000 kilometers, can hit US bases in Guam from the Chinese mainland and is thus called a "Guam killer". Leaving the INF treaty would allow the Trump administration to counter the Chinese, but it's unclear how it would do that.

He acknowledged that a future pact was unlikely to be as sweeping as the INF treaty. However, in talks this week in Beijing, the U.S. and Russia reported no breakthrough in their dispute, leaving little reason to think either side would change its stance on whether a Russian cruise missile violates the pact.

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