Russia says new cruise missile doesn't violate arms pact

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Foreign Ministry has dismissed the U.S. claim that a new Russian missile violates a Cold War-era arms treaty.

The U.S. and NATO have voiced concern that a new Russian cruise missile breaches the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The U.S.-Soviet pact bans all land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310-3,410 miles).

The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said at Thursday's briefing that the 9M729 land-based cruise missile "fully conforms to the demands of the treaty." She insisted that it "hasn't been designed and tested for the range prohibited by the treaty."

Zakharova said that Moscow expects Washington to start talks to discuss what Russia considers as U.S. violations of the treaty. Washington has rejected Russian claims of perceived violations.

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