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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Obama Administration Ignores Russian Nuclear Violations -- Moscow’s cruise, ballistic missiles undermine ’87 treaty, experts say -- By Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon

APRussia is covertly developing and testing nuclear missiles in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the Obama administration to date has failed to hold Moscow accountable, according to arms control specialists.

“The Russians have basically violated every major treaty they’ve ever entered into, certainly every major weapons treaty,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees. He is also a leader of a Senate arms control group.

The comments were made at a panel discussion Tuesday at the Heritage Foundation on Russian violations of the INF treaty.

The Free Beacon first reported in October that a Russian test of a new missile, the RS-26, violated the INF treaty. The accord prohibits ballistic missiles with ranges of 5,500 kilometers (3,415 miles) or less, and cruise missiles with ranges less than 500 kilometers (310 miles).

Last month, the New York Times reported that the Obama administration notified NATO allies that Russia’s new R-500 cruise missiles violated the accord.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki later confirmed the potential treaty violation was raised in talks with the Russians.

On Feb. 6, three House committee chairman—Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R., Calif.), Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), and Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.)—stated in a letter to the president that there is “compelling evidence” Moscow is “in material breach and circumvention” of the INF treaty.

Rubio said State Department officials have dismissed the Russian treaty violations by saying that continuing to hold arms talks with Moscow is more important and a sign of progress in often-chilly U.S.-Russian relations.

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