Russia plans to develop a land-based missile version used by the Russian Navy over the next two years as a consequence of Washington and Moscow’s decision to suspend their participation in the Inter-Nuclear Weapons Convention (INF) Defense Minister Sergey Soyugu announced today.
“In the years 2019-2020, it will be necessary to develop a terrestrial variant of the Kalibr system (…) tested in Syria,” Sergey Soyugu said, according to a statement by the Russian army.
“During the same period, we have to create a long range missile system,” he adds.
Soyugu said the decision was taken as a result of the February 2 withdrawal of the United States from INF, which came into force in 1987, and banned strategic missiles ranging in size from 500 to 5,500 km.
Kalibr missiles were first used in Russia in the autumn of 2015. With the aim of Syrian guerrillas, 26 missiles were fired from a cruiser in the Caspian Sea, 1,500 km from there.
Their range therefore corresponds to the type of weapons that are prohibited by the INF, but only applicable to ground missiles.
According to Soygo, the United States “is now working to create a missile land of more than 500 km range,” which is why “the President of Russia has instructed the Defense Ministry to take retaliatory measures.”
The United States and Russia accuse each other of violating the INF. On Saturday, February 2nd, US Secretary of State Mike Pombeo announced that the United States is suspending its “obligations under the INF”.
Vladimir Putin immediately responded that Moscow “also suspends” its participation in the deal and that Moscow will no longer take a negotiating drive for disarmament with the Americans until they have “matured enough”, according to the REA – EIA.
Vladimir Putin had previously threatened to give the green light to the development of new mid-range missiles if the Americans were to withdraw from the INF, talking about upgrading missiles that have been used at sea or in the air.