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GOP Senators File Measure Protesting Alleged Russian Arms Control Breach

By Diane Barnes and Elaine M. Grossman

Global Security Newswire

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. 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. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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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