Russia Denies 2008 Missile Test Violated Treaty

Russia Denies 2008 Missile Test Violated Treaty | Notes no formal accusation of any Russian violation exists

The Kremlin has responded to a flurry of US media reports claiming they had “secretly” deployed missiles in violation of the 1987 Intermediate Forces Treaty, insisting that they remain committed to the treaty and that no violation took place in the testing of the missile.

The missile tests took place in 2008, and at the time the Bush Administration did not make them an issue. It was only in 2014, when the Obama Administration was ratcheting up tensions with Russia, that the tests were raised as a “possible violation.” Media outlets took the reclassification of the missile by the Pentagon, removing their “experimental” label, to claim they must be deployed now, and that must be a violation too.

Russia dismissed the claims, insisting that their support for the treaty was never in question, and that there never been a formal accusation that Russia violated the treaty in any way, despite all of the media hype around the matter.

While Russian denials aren’t unusual, the lack of evidence of formal accusations is noteworthy, since US and NATO officials have at times fueled the media hype around the 2008 test by suggesting a violation was possible. It appears they never thought it was possible enough to file any formal complaints, however.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of

  • lordbaldric

    You know, this treaty is extremely easy to violate. Neither the US or Russia have to develop new weapons to do so. All either party has to do is put their sea based cruise missiles (which are nuclear capable) into land based launchers and the treaty is violated. Russia has been complaining as much that the US “missile defense” base in Romania can launch nuclear tipped Tomahawk missiles.

  • Jon Robbins

    The real issue here is ABM and our withdrawal from that treaty. The Russians see our development of ABM infrastructure in Europe as part of long-term plan to undermine their strategic deterrence. Consequently, they want to be able to target that ABM infrastructure, but the INF, which prohibits missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,000 kms, is a problem for them. When INF was signed, the Soviet border was much farther to the west than that of its successor state, the Russian Federation, and a missile with less than 500 km range cannot target our ABM stuff from Russian soil. Hence, they need a missile with a greater range, but that’s a violation of INF.
    Basically, we are trying to put Russia in a trick box where they have to choose between accepting a growing threat to their strategic (ICBM) deterrence OR withdrawing from/violating INF which gives the US a pretext to launch a missile and ABM arms race in Europe, which Russia cannot afford and has no desire to engage in.
    So if Russia really has deployed the SS-8 secretly, it’s because they are trying to avoid the choice the US is trying to impose on them.
    Ultimately, this issue is not about Russian aggressiveness or inclination to “test” Trump. That’s just ridiculous. It’s about the US aggressively competing with Putin’s Russia and trying to perpetuate a unipolar world or some approximation thereof and keep Russia in check and on the defensive.
    That our media will never explain this reality shows what handmaidens of the state they really are.

  • Don

    As of Russia could violate any treaty, now that the US has moved Nato up to within quick striking distance of Russia.

    Political lies sell well with the American people but it’s hard to see any value in that kind of bullshit here.