Speaking today at a press conference in London, Secretary of Defense James Mattis promised a US response “soon” to allegations that Russia had violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with the development of some of its more recent missiles.
The missiles in question were tested by Russia in 2008, and US officials said they might be a violation in 2014. Russia has denied that they are a violation of the treaty, and some US officials have said they might violate the “spirit” of the deal but not the specific language.
Officials gave no indication what they’re actually going to do about the putative violation, saying only that “it will be addressed” and that President Trump is still “formulating” on the matter. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti insisted the US “must” respond to the claimed violations.
Mattis didn’t elaborate much on the missiles, for which little evidence exists, but rather mostly complained about Russia annexing Crimea and “mucking around in other people’s elections.” He also hinted at Russian involvement in Afghanistan but did not elaborate.
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