State Department Cites Russia For Treaty Violation

In 2014, for the second year in a row, Russia violated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by developing a prohibited cruise missile, according to the State Department’s newly issued arms control compliance report. “The United States has determined that in 2014, the Russian Federation continued to be in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile … with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles,” states the report, released on June 5. In 2013 and 2014, the United States raised its concerns with the Russians “on repeated occasions,” states the report, and the US government will continue to pursue resolution of the issue. In a June 6 release, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) called Russia’s behavior a “serious issue” designed to “hold our interests at risk.” He noted several provisions added to the House’s version of the Fiscal 2016 defense policy bill to counter Russian violations, including requiring “counterforce and countervailing” capabilities and mandating that US Aegis on-shore missile defense sites in Romania and Poland can engage cruise missiles. (See also The Fruit of INF Violations, Ready For Picking.)