GOP Senators File Measure Protesting Alleged Russian Arms Control Breach

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, as seen on Sunday at Uber's headquarters in Washington. The Florida Republican and five other GOP senators filed a resolution condemning Russia's alleged violation of a treaty on midrange nuclear missiles.
National Journal
Elaine M. Grossman and Diane Barnes
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Elaine M. Grossman and Diane Barnes
March 26, 2014, 10:54 a.m.

Six U.S. Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors on Tues­day in­tro­duced a res­ol­u­tion voicing con­cern about an al­leged Rus­si­an breach of a 1987 arms con­trol treaty.

GOP law­makers have as­sailed Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials for what they see as an in­suf­fi­cient U.S. re­sponse to sus­pi­cions that Mo­scow has tested mis­siles in vi­ol­a­tion of the In­ter­me­di­ate-Range Nuc­le­ar Forces Treaty. In the ac­cord, the United States and Rus­sia agreed to re­frain from test­ing or field­ing bal­list­ic or cruise mis­siles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles.

“Fresh off the in­va­sion of a sov­er­eign state, Rus­si­an cheat­ing can­not be in­ter­preted in any­thing but the most sin­is­ter terms,” Sen­at­or Marco Ru­bio (R-Fla.) and his col­leagues said in a news re­lease. “Cheat­ing is not a sep­ar­ate is­sue, but is rather re­cog­nized as an equal part of [Rus­si­an] Pres­id­ent [Vladi­mir] Putin’s long-term plan for a re­sur­gent Rus­sia.”

Call­ing the INF Treaty “the cent­ral arms con­trol ac­cord of the nuc­le­ar era,” the law­makers said Wash­ing­ton “must treat it ser­i­ously and pur­sue vi­ol­a­tions re­lent­lessly. There is simply no point in hav­ing treat­ies un­less both sides treat them with the ut­most fi­del­ity, and act in a man­ner bind­ing to the agree­ment.”

Ru­bio, a mem­ber of the Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee and Se­lect Com­mit­tee on In­tel­li­gence, was joined in in­tro­du­cing the meas­ure by sen­at­ors Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), James In­hofe (R-Okla.), Dav­id Vit­ter (R-La.) and Ro­ger Wick­er (R-Miss.).

Three House GOP mem­bers are ad­van­cing com­ple­ment­ary le­gis­la­tion, the state­ment notes.

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