Netherlands has proof Russia developed prohibited cruise missile

The Dutch government has information that Russia developed a prohibited cruise missile, according to a letter written by Ministers Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs and Ank Bijleveld of Defense. It involves a SSC-8 missile that has a range of over 500 kilometers, which violates the INF treaty, NOS reports.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed in 1987 between the United States and Russia. It put an end to the Cold War. The treaty forbids the development of missiles with a range of more than 500 kilometers.

"The Netherlands can independently confirm that Russia has developed and is currently introducing a ground-based cruise weapon", the two Ministers wrote to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. This is based on "intelligence". 

According to the Ministers, the Russians have been in the test phase for some time. The US, the Netherlands and other NATO countries have been pushing Moscow for transparency on this missile since 2013. Russia initially denied the existence of the missile, but later said that the missile does not violate the INF treaty as it does not have such a large range. 

The Dutch Ministers believe that this violation of the INF treaty must be condemned, but also that the treaty must be maintained. American president Donald Trump already threatened to withdraw from the treaty, according to NOS.