Russia and China accuse US of stoking tension with missile test

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Russia and China accused the United States on Tuesday of stoking military tension by testing a land-based cruise missile, but the Russian Foreign Ministry said it would not drift into an arms race.

The Pentagon said on Monday it had tested a conventional cruise missile and hit a target of more than 500 km in the first test of its kind after the United States this month pulled out of a key Cold War nuclear treaty.

On August 2, Washington formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, accusing it of violating the treaty, a charge denied by the Kremlin.

The treaty prevented such a US missile test.

The treaty banned land-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, limiting the ability of the two countries to launch a nuclear strike on short notice.

“It is clear that the United States is on the path to escalating military tensions,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

Russia will not allow itself to be “dragged into an expensive arms race” and does not plan to deploy new missiles unless the United States takes such a step first, Tass quoted Ryabkov as saying.

The Kremlin said the US missile test showed that Washington had long been preparing to withdraw from the nuclear treaty.

“Such tests cannot be prepared in a few weeks or months,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

China also expressed concern, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the test showed the United States was fueling a new arms race and confrontation, which would have a serious impact on the security of the region and the world.

“We advise the US side to abandon the outdated perceptions of the Cold War and zero-sum games and to show restraint in the development of weapons,” he said in a daily briefing.

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