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Tom Cotton Rips Moscow on Report on Deploying New Missile

Image: Tom Cotton Rips Moscow on Report on Deploying New Missile

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 04:56 PM

Sen. Tom Cotton Tuesday slammed Russia after reports that it secretly deployed a new cruise missile in apparent violation of an arms-control treaty banning ground-based U.S. and Russian intermediate-range missiles.

"There's little reason for the U.S. to continue abiding by a treaty whose only other party continues to violate it blatantly," the Arkansas Republican, an Army veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, said. "Two battalions of cruise missiles don't just magically appear overnight.

"And if the last administration showed us anything, it's that ignoring these kinds of provocations simply means they will proliferate," Cotton said.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Moscow deployed the ground-launched SSC-8 cruise missile that had been under development for several years.

The move came despite U.S. complaints that Moscow was violating sections of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to the Times report, which quoted unidentified sources.

In July 2014, the State Department concluded in an arms-control report 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 km to 5,500 km (310 miles to 3,420 miles), or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles."

Russia then accused Washington of conducting "megaphone diplomacy" after the accusation was repeated by the State Department in 2015.

Moscow also denied that it had violated the INF treaty, which helped end the Cold War between the countries.

The Times reported that former President Barack Obama's administration had tried to persuade Moscow to correct the violation while the missile was still in the testing phase.

"I've said before that we need to set firm boundaries for Russia's behavior — and enforce them to the hilt," Cotton said Tuesday. "I take this news as evidence that the U.S. should build up its nuclear forces in Europe."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Sen. Tom Cotton Tuesday slammed Russia after reports that it secretly deployed a new cruise missile in apparent violation of an arms-control treaty banning ground-based U.S. and Russian intermediate-range missiles.
tom cotton, rips, moscow, report, deploy, missile
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2017-56-14
Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 04:56 PM
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