Washington Free Beacon senior editor Bill Gertz was a guest on Fox and Friends Friday to discuss the latest news about Russia's major violation of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the United States by building a new medium-range missile banned under the agreement.
Gertz said the story had been percolating in intelligence circles and around Capitol Hill for nine months, and he called the development bad news for the Obama administration's arms-control agenda. Gertz reported:
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Intelligence officials said internal assessments identified Russia’s new Yars M missile that was tested earlier this month as an INF missile with a range of less than 5,500 kilometers.
"The intelligence community believes it’s an intermediate-range missile that [the Russians] have classified as an ICBM because it would violate the INF treaty" if its true characteristics were known, said one official.
However, Russia is denying its new Yars M missile represents an INF violation.
Retired Lt. Gen. Victor Yesin, a former commander of Russian strategic forces and current consultant to the chief of the general staff, said in an email to the Washington Free Beacon that Russia is complying with the terms of INF because the Yars M, also known as RS-26, is an ICBM and not a banned intermediate-range system.