Russia to design new intermediate range missiles in 2 years

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's defense minister says the nation will develop land-based intermediate range missiles within two years.

Sergei Shoigu's statement follows the U.S. decision to suspend its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty over alleged Russian violations. Russian President Vladimir Putin responded by saying that Moscow will also abandon the pact, but will only deploy intermediate-range missiles if Washington does so.

Russia has rejected claims that it has deployed a missile that violated the treaty's ban on land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,410 miles). But Shoigu said Tuesday such weapons need to be designed now.

He said a land-based version of the navy's Kalibr cruise missile and a new land-based hypersonic missile must be built in 2019-2020.

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