The accusation was made by Major General Andrei Sterlin, part of the Russian military’s general staff, in an address to the country’s Parliament. Relations between the US and Russia soured after Trump withdrew America from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The treaty banned land-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,420 miles.
Referring to the possible Romanian deployment Major General Sterlin commented: “It is possible that the Pentagon has decided to step up facilities preparations without waiting for legal procedures concerning the INF Treaty to complete.”
Trump’s administration has already announced plans to put new missile defence systems, called the Aegis Ashore, in Poland and Romania.
Russia is concerned the defensive missiles would decrease the deterrent factor from its own missile programmes.
Major General Sterlin said: “The U.S. tried for decades to convince us that its missile defence plans aimed to counter the limited missile threats from North Korea and Iran and would not affect Russia’s deterrence capability.
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“Today Washington doesn’t deny that the global missile defence system is targeted at Russia.”
Trump withdrew the US from the INF treaty in February.
He claimed Russia’s Novator 9M729 missile violated its terms, which Moscow strongly denied.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov vowed a response to the US move.
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Speaking to the Russian Parliament he asserted: “We have done everything possible to preserve the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
“Now, we are starting to gear up for a potential deployment of U.S. intermediate-range ground missiles.
“The decisions on response measures are being implemented.”
Tensions between Russia and the US remain high over a number of issues, including Syria where Moscow is backing the government of Bashar al-Assad, and the conflict in Ukraine.