GOP Demands Probe Into Envoy’s Knowledge of Russian Treaty Concerns

Global Security Newswire Staff
May 27, 2014, 8:26 a.m.

Re­pub­lic­an law­makers are de­mand­ing to know wheth­er a seni­or U.S. en­voy in 2010 neg­lected to in­form the Sen­ate about Rus­si­an treaty com­pli­ance con­cerns.

Ten Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors on Fri­day wrote to the State De­part­ment, re­quest­ing that its in­tern­al watch­dog in­vest­ig­ate if the agency’s then-as­sist­ant sec­ret­ary for arms con­trol was aware of Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion sus­pi­cions that Rus­sia might be vi­ol­at­ing a 1987 bi­lat­er­al arms con­trol ac­cord and did not in­form the Sen­ate of those wor­ries dur­ing the cham­ber’s con­ten­tious de­bate over rat­i­fy­ing the New START ac­cord, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­por­ted.

Now the un­der­sec­ret­ary of State for arms con­trol and in­ter­na­tion­al se­cur­ity, Rose Got­te­moeller in her pre­vi­ous role as as­sist­ant sec­ret­ary of State served as one of the gov­ern­ment’s chief am­bas­sad­ors to Cap­it­ol Hill on New START rat­i­fic­a­tion. Got­te­moeller’s nom­in­a­tion to be­come un­der­sec­ret­ary was held up earli­er this year amid some Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors’ con­cerns that she had failed “to quickly pur­sue evid­ence of Rus­sia’s [non]com­pli­ance with mul­tiple arms con­trol agree­ments and her delay in mak­ing the Sen­ate aware of these vi­ol­a­tions.”

Earli­er in May, Sen­at­ors Ro­ger Wick­er (R-Miss.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) called on the Pentagon’s in­spect­or gen­er­al to ex­am­ine wheth­er the De­fense De­part­ment had know­ledge of “any and all com­pli­ance con­cerns re­gard­ing the [In­ter­me­di­ate-Range Nuc­le­ar Forces] Treaty and the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion dur­ing the pro­cess of the ne­go­ti­ation and rat­i­fic­a­tion of the New START treaty.”

The INF pact bars both Rus­sia and the United States from test­ing or field­ing any bal­list­ic or cruise mis­sile with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles.

Got­te­moeller earli­er this month said the U.S. gov­ern­ment is wor­ried that Rus­sia is vi­ol­at­ing the ac­cord, and that those con­cerns are con­nec­ted to the test­ing of a ground-launched cruise mis­sile. “We have ser­i­ous com­pli­ance con­cerns with the Rus­si­ans with re­gards to the INF Treaty,” the un­der­sec­ret­ary said. “I’ve raised them re­peatedly. We will con­tin­ue to do so un­til we’re sat­is­fied.”

The House last week ap­proved a bill that would re­quire the ad­min­is­tra­tion to re­lease an un­clas­si­fied re­port on Rus­si­an com­pli­ance with the treaty every 90 days after the le­gis­la­tion be­comes law. The re­port is to de­tail how Pres­id­ent Obama is mak­ing Mo­scow “ac­count­able for be­ing in ma­ter­i­al breach” of the ac­cord, and wheth­er it re­mains good policy for Wash­ing­ton to con­tin­ue to ob­serve the treaty it­self, ac­cord­ing to the bill.

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