USA threatens Russian Federation with military strike

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Later on, Tuesday Hutchinson said she "was not talking about preemptively striking Russia" when she said the U.S. would have to "take out" the Russian missiles.

"It seems that people who make such statements do not realise the level of their responsibility and the danger of aggressive rhetoric", TASS news agency quoted foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.

"All members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, including Russian Federation, have been invited to send observers", he said.

Hutchison's comment came several weeks after President Donald Trump signed the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2019.

The Soviet Union achieved strategic parity with the U.S. in the mid to late 1970s and started developing missiles that were more mobile, accurate, easily deployable and concealable and that could cover targets in Western Europe, North Africa, the Middle East but also Asia, Southeast Asia and the USA state of Alaska. The issue is bound to be high on the agenda when North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence ministers meet in Brussels later this year.

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The treaty bans only production, testing and use of intermediate-range missiles; research and development isn't prohibited.

"We've taken diplomatic, we've taken military, research and development and also economic measures to increase the cost on Russian Federation and ensure the security of the United States and our allies if Russian Federation chooses not to return into compliance with its treaty obligations." she said. There's some evidence however that's actually not what Hutchison meant.

Russia has long feared that USA missile shields could be used covertly to preemptively target the man who controls the Russian nuclear arsenal - Russian President Vladimir Putin. "The U.S. has acted, showing that our commitment to the transatlantic alliance remains iron-clad", he said. "As for the essence of the matter, our military experts will give an expanded response", she added.

Hutchison said that a diplomatic solution would be preferable, but that the United States would not hesitate to act if Russian Federation refused to destroy these missiles.

Russian Federation has over "several years" refused to accept USA evidence of breaches, so "we need to look for other ways to bring Russian Federation to the table on the issues", Hutchinson told reporters on Tuesday.

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Mattis, however, said after four years of diplomatic effort, the United States is living by the treaty and Russian Federation is not.

"We remain concerned about Russia's lack of respect for its global commitments including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty", Stoltenberg stated.

Some social media users reacted with alarm over words they described as "dangerous" and "foolhardy", with the potential to further inflame highly strained relations between Russian Federation and the West. Surely not. Is she warning that if the Russian development of these weapons goes ahead then the USA will find systems to target them in the event of a crisis?

Washington wants its Nato allies to increase diplomatic pressure on Moscow, and Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg insisted all allies are concerned by Russia's continued work on the system.

"The exercise is defensive and it is transparent", Stoltenberg said, adding that Russian Federation had been "invited to send observers".

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