Tags: Barack Obama | Russia | defense | bill | nuclear | treaty

Congress Demands Obama Report on Russian Nuclear Cheating

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 05:38 PM

The pending defense authorization bill would require the Obama administration to report fully on Moscow's violations of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

The bill calls for the report on Russian INF violations to be provided within three months of its enactment. The legislation mandates that the administration provide a description of what President Barack Obama plans to do about the cheating and what steps he has already taken in order to address it.

During talks in Moscow last September, Russian officials refused to discuss the subject and accused the United States of violating the INF treaty through the use of armed drones even though the pact does not cover unmanned aircraft.

Under the legislation, Congress would require that the administration report include information about what verification measures would be employed to ensure full Russian compliance with the treaty.

Congress also wants the administration to provide it with "an assessment of whether Russian noncompliance threatens the viability of the INF treaty, whether such noncompliance constitutes a material breach of the INF treaty, and whether it is in the interests of the United States to remain a party of the INF treaty if such noncompliance continues," the legislation states.

In July, the State Department acknowledged that "the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles."

The missile in question is believed to be the R-500 cruise missile.

In an Oct. 23 letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, termed the Russian violations of the INF accord "a serious challenge to the security of the United States and our allies."

Dempsey added that Moscow’s violations, "particularly when placed in the broader context of Russian regional aggression, must be met with a strategic response."

But thus far, the Obama Administration has largely ignored them, the Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz reported.

One critic of Russian non-compliance in the past was current Secretary of State John Kerry. The Daily Beast reported that at a closed-door Nov. 2012 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Kerry, then chairman of the panel, erupted at reports of Russian cheating.

"If we're going to have treaties with people, we've got to adhere to them," Kerry stated.

"We're not going to pass another treaty in the U.S. Senate if our colleagues are sitting up here knowing somebody is cheating."

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The pending defense authorization bill would require the Obama administration to report fully on Moscow's violations of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
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2014-38-10
Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 05:38 PM
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