UNSC to meet today for discussions over US cruise missile test

Washington: The UN Security Council is all set to meet on Thursday afternoon for open discussions over the recent medium-range cruise missile test conducted by the United States earlier this week, previously prohibited by the now-abandoned Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

“The meeting will take place tomorrow; it will be an open-format briefing under the agenda of ‘Threats to International Peace and Security’ and is scheduled to take place at 3:00 p.m.,” Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations Press Secretary Fedor Strzhizhovskiy told Sputnik.

On Monday, the US Defense Department said it tested a conventional ground-launched cruise missile that flew more than 500 kilometres, a range banned under the INF Treaty. The Department spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Carver told Sputnik the following day that the test had used a Mark 41 launcher.

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Subsequently, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy was quoted as saying that the diplomatic missions of Russia and China at the UN had requested a Security Council meeting to address the matter.

Strzhizhovskiy said the meeting will focus not only on the latest US missile test but also on the threat arising from the deployment of such missiles.

The United States’ plans to develop and deploy medium-range missiles to “jeopardize the strategic balance of power in the world,” Strzhizhovskiy said, adding that Russia hopes for a fair assessment of the US actions at the UN Security Council meeting.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said that Washington had been preparing tests of the missile test long before it had officially pulled out of the INF Treaty earlier this month.

In the wake of the missile test, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday urged all member states to intensify efforts aimed at nuclear disarmament.

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