Republican lawmakers are asserting that President Obama took too long to inform U.S. allies of a possible Russian treaty violation.
The Obama administration notified other NATO nations earlier this month of the potential breach involving Russian cruise-missile tests that began as long ago as 2008. The U.S. State Department on Thursday confirmed it had expressed concern to Moscow about the possible violation, the New York Times reported.
In a Thursday letter to Obama, Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said details on the potential breach of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty should have been available to NATO nations as they crafted a 2012 nuclear-strategy review.
"Your administration called upon NATO to undertake the 2012 Deterrence and Defense Posture Review (DDPR) in an effort to analyze the current threat environment and ensure that the alliance’s nuclear posture is designed to meet those threats," Turner's letter states.
The U.S. "failure to disclose this critical information to NATO during the review process both compromises the DDPR and weakens the trust our allies place in us," the lawmaker added.
The same concern comes up in a Thursday joint statement by Turner and three other GOP lawmakers: House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Vice Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), and Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.).
"Intermediate-range missiles threaten our European partners most of all," the release says. "Why were they kept in the dark for four years according to this [Times] report? Why did the Obama administration keep evidence of Russia’s cheating from our allies when NATO was recently debating and deciding upon its nuclear posture?"
To date, Washington has not formally accused Moscow of violating the 1987 pact.