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Russian Provocations Test Trump's Commitment To Improving Relations

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U.S. destroyer USS Bonhomme Richard (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) U.S. destroyer USS Bonhomme Richard (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
WASHINGTON -

Cruise missiles are a staple of the Russian military arsenal.

But one particular type -- a land-based cruise missile with a range greater than 300 miles -- is specifically banned by a treaty signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in the final years of the Cold War.

Now U.S. officials say Russia has deployed just such a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

It happened secretly in December during the Obama administration, but it is now up to President Trump to respond.

U.S. officials say the deployment is such a blatant violation that it calls into question the value of future arms control treaties with Russia.

Also, just four days ago, an incident similar to last year’s buzzing by Russian jets of a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea happened again, this time in the Black Sea.

First, a Russian patrol plane made a low pass close to the USS Porter, then two Russian jet fighters were followed a short time later by a third.  U.S. officials called the fly-bys “unsafe and unprofessional.”

And one more sign the Cold War is back; A Soviet intelligence ship bristling with antennas to intercept communications is making its way up the East Coast of the U.S. after leaving port in Cuba.

President Trump has said he hopes to have better relations with Russia, but that hope is being rapidly overtaken by events.

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