Russia Presents Info on Missile U.S. Says Violates Pact

Participants attend a news briefing, organized by Russian Defense and Foreign Ministries’ officials and dedicated to the SSC-8/9M729 cruise missile system, at Patriot Expocentre near Moscow, Russia, Wednesday. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

The Russian military has released the specifications of its new missile, seeking to dispel the U.S. claim that the weapon violates a key nuclear arms pact.

The military insisted Wednesday that the 9M729 cruise missile conforms to the limits of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The U.S. has announced its intention to abandon the INF, charging that the new Russian missile violates provisions of the pact that ban production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,400 miles). Washington said it will suspend its treaty obligations if Russian does not come into compliance by Feb. 2.

Lt. Gen. Mikhail Matveevsky, the chief of the military’s missile and artillery forces, said at a meeting with foreign military attaches that the new missile has a maximum range of 480 kilometers.