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Medium-range missiles : Russia has apparently known more cruise missiles than in the past

Russia is to have more cruise missiles of medium-range system SSC-8 than previously known. The "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" (FAS) reported, citing an unnamed Western intelligence officials. From the point of view of Nato, the weapons system is in breach of the INF disarmament Treaty by the USA for this reason have terminated. Russia, which denies a violation of the provisions of the INF Treaty, was the agreement then.

The newspaper report that, in addition to a training battalion in the southern Russian test site Kapustin Yar, and a battalion in kamyslov the East of Ekaterinburg, two more station locations: the North Ossetia in Mozdok, as well as Shuya near Moscow. About Shuya, the United States informed its Nato partners, according to the report, for the first time in the second half of last year.

Each of the four battalions had four vehicles on wheels, which carried four missiles, the newspaper writes. Consequently, Russia will have a minimum of 64 SSC-8, which can be equipped with either a conventional or a nuclear warhead. The range of the Cruise missile with nuclear warhead amounts to 2350 kilometers. With a conventional 500-kilogram warhead, it had 2000 kilometers, the newspaper said.

The 1987 closed-INF-agreement between the United States and the then Soviet Union prohibited the construction and ownership of land-based, nuclear-armed missiles, or cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Russia claims to be the weapons system would only 480 miles.

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According to the current set-up the Eastern and Northern Europe lie in the range of the system, as well as Central Europe, up to and including Germany. In the event of a crisis the System could be moved rapidly to the West and the whole of Europe with the exception of Portugal, threaten, wrote the "FAS".

Federal Minister for economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier (CDU) wants to keep the debate to the termination of the INF disarmament Treaty open to all options – it can also be retrofitted. Altmaier said the "Welt am Sonntag", he noted that Americans and Russians at the end. "I think it's wrong that some to exclude the idea of retrofitting from the outset. That would weaken our negotiating position."

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Only if Europe and the United States demonstrated, in principle, their determination and ability to act," will Moscow be willing to take on the Western concern for consideration, said Altmaier. "This means that If we want to at the end of real disarmament, we must not exclude in advance any Option categorically." (dpa)

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