Kremlin: missile test shows U.S. is to blame for demise of nuclear pact

FILE PHOTO: Kremlin spokesman Peskov looks on during a visit to the Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus joint venture plant of Sollers and Japanese Mazda in Vladivostok

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Tuesday the U.S. test of a ground-launched cruise missile showed that Washington had long prepared to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and that the United States, not Russia, was to blame for the pact's demise.

The Pentagon said on Monday that it had tested a conventionally-configured cruise missile that hit its target after more than 500 km (310 miles) of flight, the first such test since the United States pulled out of the treaty on Aug. 2.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that the missile test, which would have been prohibited under the INF treaty, could not have been conducted without preparations that would have taken longer than a few weeks.


(Reporting by Andrew Osborn, Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by John Stonestreet)