Russia conducts Topol-M ballistic missile launch
Russia carried out a combat training launch of the intercontinental Topol-M ballistic missile. The purpose of the missile launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome was to confirm the flight performance of the missile system, reported the Russian Defense Ministry. According to the Ministry, "the combat unit arrived at the specified landing point on the Kamchatka Peninsula."
Washington and NATO believe that the Russian Federation violated the INF Treaty with the 9M729 missile, capable of hitting target at a distance of more than 500 kilometers. The Russian military, in turn, argues that 9M729 cannot overcome the 500-kilometre distance limit. In December 2018, the United States threatened to withdraw from the agreement if Russia did not return to the fulfillment of its contractual obligations within 60 days. After two months, Washington suspended the U.S participation in the INF Treaty agreement.
The next day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Moscow’s "mirror response" and instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry and the country's defense ministry to stop further attempts to initiate negotiations regarding this agreement.
The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Mikhail Gorbachev and the U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the INF Treaty in 1987. Medium and short-range missiles pose the greatest threat to the world, as they are able to reach the goal within a few minutes and do not leave the enemy a chance to prepare for the strike and repel it.