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Russia warns against another arms race as US tested new missile

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This August 18, 2019 photo shows the US launch of a configured ground-launched cruise missile on San Nicolas Island off the coast of California. (Via AP)

The Russian envoy to the United Nations says the world is on the verge of a new arms race as the US has already started the test launch of a formerly banned missile after it recently abandoned a landmark arms control treaty with Moscow. 

Deputy Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy made the warning at the emergency session of the Security Council —requested by Russia and China — on Thursday.

He said Washington's testing of a ground-launched missile earlier this week shows that the administration of President Donald Trump “is ready for an arms race."

“Are you aware of the fact that all of us have found ourselves just one step away from an uncontrolled arms race, because of the US geopolitical ambitions?” said Polyanskiy.

“This is a source of great concern for us, but apparently not for the US,” he added.

The Pentagon said on Monday that it had test launched a conventionally configured, ground-launched cruise missile with a range of more than 500 Kilometers.

It was the first such test since Trump officially terminated the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia earlier this month.

The treaty, signed by then-US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, banned land-based missiles with a range of between 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

Washington accused Moscow of violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.

During the council meeting, the acting US envoy to the UN Jonathan Cohen described the missile test as a “prudent response” to the “aggressive strategies “pursued by Russia and China.

He accused both Beijing and Moscow of causing a “deteriorating security environment” in the world.

“The Russian Federation and China would still like a world where the United States exercises self-restraint while they continue their arms buildups unabated and unabashed," said Cohen.

"US flight tests to develop a ground-launched, conventional capability are neither provocative nor destabilizing. We will not stand idle," he added.

Cohen also went on to say that Washington was interested in "serious arms control" that includes China and "goes beyond treaties focused on limited types of nuclear weapons or missile ranges."

China's Ambassador at the UN Zhang Jun, however, said in response that Beijing "has no interest" in being part of any arms control treaty with Washington and Moscow.

China has already warned the US against deploying new missile systems to various Asian countries, including Japan and South Korea.

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