One of the biggest risks to the world with a Trump presidency was always going to be international opportunism and posturing.
Moscow has deployed a cruise missile in an apparent treaty violation, a senior military official told CNN Tuesday.
The move is just the latest in a string of Russian provocations in the early days of the Trump administration, which has called for warmer relations with the Kremlin.
The traditional US adversary has also positioned a spy ship off the coast of Delaware and carried out flights near a US Navy warship, concerning American officials. The administration has not officially drawn any links between the three events.
The ground-launched cruise missile seems to run counter to the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the senior military official said. The New York Times first reported is deployment.
While declining to speak on intelligence matters, a spokesman for the US State Department did draw attention to Russian violations of the treaty.
“The Russian Federation remains in violation of its INF Treaty obligations not to possess, produce or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles,” acting spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement issued Tuesday.
“We have made very clear our concerns about Russia’s violation, the risks it poses to European and Asian security, and our strong interest in returning Russia to compliance with the treaty,” Toner added.
Just last week, a US navy warship in the Black Sea had three encounters with Russian aircraft Friday that were deemed to be unsafe and unprofessional because of how close the Russian planes flew to the US, according to a senior defense official.
The chances of things turning our much worse are far greater than them getting a bit better.