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U.S.: Russia In Violation Of Two Arms-Control Treaties

  • Luke Johnson

Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller says Russia is in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE).

Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller says Russia is in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE).

WASHINGTON -- The United States has accused Russia of violating two key arms-control treaties.

Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller said at a congressional hearing on December 10 that Russia was in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE).

Russia has denied that it violated the INF Treaty and accused the United States of its own violations. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a moratorium on the CFE Treaty in 2007.

Gottemoeller, the State Department's senior arms-control official, said the United States would remain in the INF treaty and wanted to work to bring Russia back into full compliance with the treaty.

"It's very important to continue to press the Russians to come back into compliance with the treaty. If somehow we left the treaty it would be essentially giving them a free ride to do whatever they well please," she said.

Brian McKeon, principal deputy undersecretary for policy at the Department of Defense, said the United States was looking at several military countermeasures to take in response to Russia's violation of the treaty.

The United States first accused Russia of violating the treaty in July by test-launching a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile.

The 1987 treaty bans ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles capable of flying between 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

The hearing was held by the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces of the Armed Services Committee.

When asked for a "yes" or "no" answer on whether Russia was in compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Convention, Gottemoeller responded both times, "with regard to the Soviet-era programs, no," and was not allowed to give a full answer.

She said that the Russia was in compliance with the Treaty on Open Skies, allowing each party to conduct short-notice unarmed reconnaissance flights over each other's territory, and the New START Treaty, a nuclear arms-reduction treaty. Russia announced on December 8 that it would conduct a reconnaissance flight over U.S. territory under the treaty.

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