Rep. Ted Poe of Texas says he has launched a probe into whether the State Department and the Government Accountability Office buried information about Russia's noncompliance with signed nuclear treaties.
"There's a 1987 INF Treaty — the intermediate nuclear forces treaty. We signed it, the Russians signed it. Apparently, it appears the Russians have been cheating and lying … [while] we fulfilled our obligation to reduce intermediate nuclear weapons," Poe told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"It seems that the U.S. has known for some time that the Russians have been cheating."
But Poe claims the government kept a lid on the Russian treachery.
"We are asking the administration why they haven't told us about this until after the so called reset policy … The administration knew, but they didn't bother to tell the Senate," he said.
"Why? Well, maybe the Senate wouldn’t have approved the new start treaty in 2010 if they'd known that the Russians were already cheating."
Poe, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, said the U.S. must punish Russia for President Vladimir Putin's aggressive push into Ukraine.
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"Start with the sanctions; let's impose some sanctions that actually have some teeth in them …Let's deny Russian diplomats from coming to the U.S., revoke their visas now, let there be some consequences for invading other countries," Poe said.
"[And the] most important thing that we can do, short term and long term, is go after the monopoly the Russians have on natural gas and energy in the entire area. The Ukraine depends on Russia for its energy, it gets 60 percent of its natural gas from Russia, They use that as a political tool.
"I was even in the Ukraine in 2009 when the Russians turned off the gas for political reasons in the winter for two weeks. So they are held hostage. All of the former Soviet Republics are. Energy is what Russia runs its economy on, give them an alternative."
Poe said some of the large supplies of natural gas in the United States could be sold to Ukraine.
"[Let's] let them know long term they're going to be able to buy natural gas on a competitive basis and that could be the first thing, we are going to help you energy wise," Poe said.
"It also helps the United States and gives eastern Europe, even the western part of Europe natural gas. Give them some alternatives, but [begin the] sanctions immediately -- the Russians are not through....
"I think he's going to go for more former Soviet Republic areas, maybe the [rest of] Ukraine, maybe Moldova will be next or even the NATO ally Estonia.... Putin on his own has started Cold War II.... He wants to re-reestablish the old Soviet Empire under a different name."
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