OREANDA-NEWSA United States test of a cruise missile with a range prohibited by the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) is regrettable, Washington has set its sights on escalating tensions. This was announced to the Russian media on Tuesday by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

“It's noteworthy that the test of an advanced Tomahawk missile took place literally 16 days after the United States withdrew from the INF Treaty and the termination of this treaty. There probably couldn't be more clear and explicit confirmation that the development of the corresponding systems was carried out in the United States for a long time and preparation to withdraw from the contract, including including the appropriate research and development work", the diplomat said.

According to him, Moscow also noticed that "the launch was made using the Mk41 installation". “A universal launcher that is suitable for launching not only SM-3 interceptor missiles, but also cruise missiles of various types of ground-to-ground, surface-to-surface cruise missiles”, Ryabkov explained.

"All this is regrettable. The United States has obviously taken a course towards escalating military tensions", the deputy minister stressed. "We don't succumb to provocations. We, as was announced yesterday in France by Russian President Vladimir Putin, reaffirm our commitment to a unilateral moratorium on the deployment of medium-range ground systems until such systems are deployed by the United States in any region of the world", he added. 

Earlier it was reported that a video of the US test of a ground-based cruise missile with forbidden INF Treaty appeared on the Pentagon website. US officials have repeatedly stated the possibility of a flight test of a ground-based cruise missile in late August.