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US Reviewing Details of Russian Missile Tests for Treaty Violations

Ground stuff tow a cruise missile towards Tupolev-22 "Backfire" plane for loading at a military base near the city of Ussuriysk in this September 17, 1999 file photo.
The U.S. State Department says a review is under way to determine whether Russia's testing of a new ground-launched cruise missile is a violation of a key 1987 arms control treaty.

That agreement, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, was signed by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan and then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It eliminated nuclear and conventional intermediate range ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.

The New York Times reported Thursday that U.S. officials believe Moscow began conducting missile flight tests as early as 2008. The officials say the missile has not yet been deployed.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, speaking hours after publication, said Washington has informed NATO about the missile tests and has discussed the issue with Moscow. There has been no official Russian comment.

Psaki declined to offer details of the diplomatic communications, but described the ongoing U.S. analysis as "an intensive review" that has been ongoing for months.