Published On: Tue, Aug 20th, 2019

World War 3: Russia and US racing towards possible nuclear war after Trump missile test | World | News

Fears of conflict have dramatically escalated after the US treated a nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missile on Sunday just weeks after Washington withdrew from a cold-war era missile control treaty that would have barred the test launch. The projectile hit its target after 500kms of flight, the Pentagon said. Ground-launched versions of the missile had been removed from service decades ago, after the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

The treaty’s ban on missiles with ranges between 500km and 5,500km aimed to reduce the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.

Cold War historian Jeremy Kuzmarov told RT that he feared the decision could lead to global catastrophe.

He explained: “I think Russia should try and do everything it can to try and mitigate tensions and to raise concerns to the international community that a new arms race would be very destructive for both sides, both for the US and Russia.

“And this is very dangerous for the world at large because it could lead to a war – even a nuclear war.

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“So I think raising that alarm in the world community while, at the same time, they do have to prepare to defend their society and their country if the US is going to threaten them.”

US officials had accused Moscow of beginning to break the terms of the Reagan-Gorbachev agreement in the mid 2000s and made concerns official in 2013.

Russia has denied breaching the terms of the agreement and claimed Washington broke the pact first.

US President Donald Trump explained in a statement: “The United States has fully adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years, but we will not remain constrained by its terms while Russia misrepresents its actions.

Washington had in the 1980s deployed several intermediate range missiles throughout Europe.

160 of the missiles were placed in England, 112 in Sicily, 96 in West Germany and 48 each in The Netherlands and Belgium.

The USSR built 654 RSD-10 Pioneer missiles (codenamed SS-20 Saber by NATO).

The USSR had formed the Warsaw Pact in response to Bonn’s integration into NATO.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov condemned the latest US missile launch, but said Moscow was not looking to start a new arms race, and would not deploy any new missiles unless the US did first.

The TASS news agency quoted him saying: “All this elicits regret, the United States has obviously taken the course of escalating military tensions. We will not succumb to provocations.

“We won’t allow ourselves to be pulled into a costly arms race.”

Beijing also attacked the US for provocative behaviour, warning that the missile test could lead to “another round of the arms race”, and have a “serious negative impact” on international and regional security.

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