Sanctions Prompt Putin To Deploy Iskander Missile

In a meeting before the Russian National Security Council, President Vladimir Putin announced the end of cooperation between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, emphasizing the need for a buffer zone with the Western alliance and effectively ending missile defense cooperation, according to informed sources. Putin’s decision at the July 22 meeting to end cooperation with the West follows the imposition by the U.S. and Europe of stringent sanctions aimed at Russia’s defense, energy and financial sectors. The sanctions were imposed against Russia due to Moscow’s support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and what the West believes was Russian help to the rebels in shooting down a Malaysia Airlines flight, killing 298 people. Analysts believe the rebels, equipped with a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile, mistook the civilian airliner for a Ukrainian cargo plane.

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