Mon, 23 Sep 2019

The UN Security Council is holding an open meeting on August 22 at the request of Russia and China to discuss the United States's recent test-firing of a cruise missile on August 19.

Russia's request said the meeting is over "statements by U.S. officials on their plans to develop and deploy medium-range missiles,' Reuters reported.

A three-decades-old arms treaty between the United States and Russia collapsed earlier this month.

The United States officially withdrew on August 2 from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that banned ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

U.S. President Donald Trump on February 1 announced the United States planned to pull out of the agreement setting off a six-month withdrawal period after accusing Russia for years of violating the pact.

Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, said, "The urgency is that there are a lot of threats.... We are on the eve of a new arms race, we want to discuss the issue."

The Pentagon earlier this week said it had fired a missile that hit a target after more than 500 kilometers of flight. It was the first such test since the United States withdrew from the INF treaty.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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