Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about Russia’s reported violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty:
Washington, DC - “In the past two weeks, there have been multiple incidents of Russian aircraft buzzing a U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea, Russian-backed separatists have escalated violence in Ukraine, and the public has learned that Russia is reportedly further violating its Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty obligations by deploying nuclear cruise missiles that are banned by the treaty. These are unambiguously aggressive actions that need to cease, and the United States needs to make it clear to Russia that it must abide by its treaty obligations.
“Congress provided the President with authority to sanction any entity involved in efforts to violate the INF Treaty in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. President Trump should be using that authority and explaining to Congress and the American public exactly what he is doing to push the Russians to comply with the INF Treaty.
“But instead, we continue to learn about an expanding litany of secret dealings between President Trump’s confidants and the Russians, along with apparent discussions about easing sanctions against Russia even though Moscow has not backed down on any issues that prompted the sanctions. This is not a pretty picture, and the American people deserve to know whether President Trump will take the action that is needed and stand up to Russian aggression.”