says a US missile battery in Romania violates the terms of a Russo-American treaty, which bans the development of intermediate-range nuclear-capable missiles, vowing to take reciprocal steps.
Officials from the US and the Western military alliance of NATO declared the missile system based in southern Romania operational on Thursday. The missiles’ going live marked the penultimate step in the completion of a so-called missile shield, which Washington proposed nearly a decade ago.
The United States
will break ground on the final site in Poland on Friday. Upon completion in late 2018, the umbrella would be stretching from Greenland to the Azores region in western Portugal.
Commenting on the Romanian site, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, “We view the deployment of these missile launchers on land as a violation of key clauses of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.”
The Kremlin says the shield’s aim is to neutralize Moscow’s nuclear arsenal. The US, though, insists the missiles are not aimed against Russia.
“Russia has repeatedly pointed out the dangers of development of the situation around anti-missile defense in the region along the lines of a negative scenario. But our concerns are still being ignored. We are drawing our own conclusions from this, including taking our own reciprocal measures of a military and technical nature,” Zakharova added.
Earlier in the week, Russia’s Zvezda TV channel reported that the country was preparing to test-fire a highly powerful nuclear missile, which is said to be capable of destroying an entire country in seconds. The RS-28 Sarmat missile, dubbed Satan 2, will replace Soviet-era R-36M missiles, which NATO military experts had nicknamed “Satan.”