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Deputy U.S. Defense Chief Says Russia 'Playing With Fire'


The deputy U.S. defense chief says he is worried by what he calls Russian provocations, saying Moscow is "playing with fire" by making veiled threats about its nuclear capabilities.

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told the House Armed Services Committee on June 25 that Russia's effort to use its nuclear forces to intimidate its neighbors have failed, actually bringing NATO allies closer.

Work said Russia continued to violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987, banning ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

Work said the Pentagon was developing options for President Barack Obama to consider to respond to the treaty violations and would not let Russia "gain significant military advantage through INF violations."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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