Lawmakers: Nyet to Treaty Violators

Republican House members pressed the Obama administration to confront the Kremlin over Russia’s alleged violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by testing a new type of ground-launched cruise missile, reported Global Security Newswire. “We believe it is imperative that Russian officials not be permitted to believe they stand to gain from a material breach of this or any other treaty,” wrote House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (Calif.) in a Feb. 6 letter he penned with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (Mich.). “Other countries around the world will be closely watching the US response to any Russian violation,” they wrote. On Jan. 30, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that senior US officials had discussed this issue with NATO allies. However, “there’s still an ongoing review, an interagency review, determining if there was a violation,” she said. The 1987 INF treaty bans ground-launched missiles with ranges between 500 kilometers and 5,500 kilometers. The Russians may have begun testing this cruise missile in 2008, according to GSN. (See also McKeon-Rogers-Thornberry-Turner statement.)