Russia Decries US Missile Test as 'Escalation of Military Tensions'

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Moscow said on Tuesday that the United States was ramping up military tensions by testing a medium-range cruise missile weeks after tearing up the Cold War-era pact with Russia.

Russia Decries US Missile Test as 'Escalation of Military Tensions'

"This is all a cause of regret. The US has obviously taken a course towards escalation of military tensions. We won't react to provocations," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told state news agency TASS.

The US Defense Department on Monday announced the test of a medium-range ground-launched cruise missile.

The missile was launched on Sunday from the US Navy-controlled San Nicolas Island off the coast of Los Angeles, California.

"The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 310 miles of flight," the Pentagon said in a statement.

While the missile was described as "conventionally configured," meaning not nuclear-equipped, the launch was a sign of Washington beefing up its nuclear war-fighting capabilities in the wake of the collapse of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on August 2, AFP reported.

The INF had banned all land-based missiles, conventional and nuclear, that could travel between 310 and 3,400 miles, in an effort to abolish a class of nuclear arms being deployed by the United States and the then-Soviet Union that left Europe the most threatened.

The missile tested on Sunday was a version of the nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missile. The ground-launched version of the Tomahawk was removed from service after the INF was ratified.

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