News / USA

US: Russia Violated Nuclear Treaty

President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013.
President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013.
VOA News

The United States accused Russia of violating a historic nuclear test ban treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile.

U.S officials said President Barack Obama informed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a letter Monday of the United States' determination that Russia broke the 1987 treaty. 

The move was first reported Monday evening by The New York Times.

The U.S. said Russia tested a new ground-launched cruise missile, breaking the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that President Ronald Reagan signed with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was designed to eliminate ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 kilometers.

The U.S. is calling the matter "very serious" and White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Tuesday said Russia's response to its complaint was not satisfactory.

"We have raised concerns with the Russians about the importance of complying with this aspect of the treaty and, I guess suffice it to say, the response we received from them was unsatisfactory," he said.

Earnest said the U.S. intends to pressure Russia on the issue because it believes compliance with the treaty is in the "clear national security interests" of the United States.

"We're going to hold them to living up to the commitments that they made," he said.

The accusation comes during a time of heightened tension between Washington and Moscow over Russia's support of separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine and its decision to grant asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

The top diplomats for the two countries, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, discussed the issue in a phone conversation. But the Russian Foreign Ministry did not comment on the U.S. complaint.

U.S. officials said the Obama administration is willing to hold high-level discussions on the issue and wants assurances that Russia will comply with the treaty requirements going forward.

Russia hinted at quiting a year ago

Russia and the United States destroyed nearly 2,700 nuclear-armed missiles as part of a Cold War-era nuclear test ban treaty.

The treaty has no expiration date, but a year ago, Sergei Ivanov, a former Russian defense minister and now Putin's chief of staff, raised the possibility of quitting the treaty. He told a Russian television interviewer that "on the one hand, we've signed the agreement, we will obey it. But that could not last forever."

He said the United States does not need the mid-range missiles because they could only be used to target two of it closest allies, Mexico and Canada.

At the time, Putin said that the land-based cruise missiles were not crucial for the United States, but that "practically all our neighbors develop these systems."

The Russian leader said that for "modern Russia," the decision 27 years ago to end use of the land-based cruise missiles was "disputable."

The  Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. At the time, it was viewed as a cornerstone for ending the Cold War.

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by: Rex
July 29, 2014 3:54 AM
Seriously? As if the US hasn't got exactly the same type of weaponry. All this bleating over Ukraine is useless and more importantly none of America's business. If the Russians were interfering in another countries affairs that bordered the US the Americans would be doing exactly the same as Putin. Hypocrisy seems to be a word the Executive doesn't know or have any grasp on. More so when the country the US is trying to bully has nukes too. Lets not forget how silent the US is with China as well with it's breaches of human rights and hostile takeover of land and sea.
In Response

by: william li from: canada
July 29, 2014 11:50 AM
america cant afford to fight against both Russia and China at the same time.
America is getting weak, both Russia and China can see through it.
Now the question is which one america will pick to form a temporary alliance. in 1972 america picked China and lead to 1990s Soviet collapse. now what?

by: rolmbo from: dallad
July 29, 2014 3:48 AM
Lets us the United States pretend not to be complicit in the affairs of other counties as we have been doing for over 70 years. Mr. Putin will not shed one tear over this in fact we maybe playing right into his plan to put mother Russia back togeather and to be restored to the exact way it was prior to its breakup. One who lives in a glass house should not be casting stones.

by: rolmbo from: dallas
July 29, 2014 3:38 AM
If one is going to punish Edward Snowden for Espionage than all those involved at the National Security Agency should be punished just as severly if not more so for violating the Constitution of the United States. Mr. James Clapper lied to Congresional Commitee which is no laughing matter. If our justice system is too dole out punishment we should punish equally. Don't put a veil over Justices eyes when punishment is doled out to the NSA than remove it when punishment is doled out to Edward Snowdem.

by: nhumphrey from: england
July 29, 2014 3:03 AM
The US is constitutionally bound to treaties as supreme law. It signs up to very few truly multinational. Only it's been skipping 1980 Hague Treaty for abducted children - in particular its in breach of it for the return of my children from Virginia. After winning my US Ct Appeals 4th Cir, I want my further proceedings in the form of timely New Trial (that shall admit evidence by treaty). You can't fiddle a court case by escalating the burden of proof beyond all reasonable doubt from Civil preponderance; nor can you ignore evidence from one side, or refuse to admit it via NCMEC.

Nor can federal judge Hilton file on a public holiday (brown envelope investigation required), when its the Court Clerk that determines timeliness. The US word is no longer its bond, so don't be surprised when this affects other things - like Nuclear proliferation, or NATO (if a judge can break a treaty, and wait for court proceedings up to 12 years, US treaties are worthless - I'd like to impeach, but as a foreigner, have no House Rep - get your system fixed, so everyone can assert Fair Trial. It's in Magna Carta, so really its a long established and important Civil Right).
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
July 29, 2014 1:29 PM
US President George W. Bush "quote" said it; .. "For diplomacy to be effective, (words must be credible), and no one can now doubt the word of America" ... (and Bush also "quote" said); ... "The actions we take and the decisions we make in this decade will have consequences far into this century.. If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy."

TRUER WORDS have never been spoken.... (but George W. Bush isn't President anymore), and Americas foreign policy, and it's words, actions, and decisions, (just aren't credible anymore), and America now shows weakness and uncertainty, while the world is erupting in chaos, violence, killings, destruction and wars everywhere..... while America sits and talks, and threatens sanctions?

by: Carl Jones from: London UK
July 29, 2014 3:01 AM
Yeh....and Amerika and Britain have just agreed to develope and build even more deadly nuclear warheads than they currently have! The fact is, both Amerika and Britain are bankrupt and they seek WW3, just as they plotted WW1 and WW2 to save their sorry asses.

Just so you`ll understand, the NWO is behind the coup in Ukraine and this ruse is designed to drive a wedge between Germany (EU) and Russia. Once again, the Amerikans and British can`t allow sovereign states to prosper unless they are in control.

Just think, I live in London and I now know the nutters in Washington are prepared to start another world war in Europe...how do you think this makes me feel towards the Amerikan people? I mean, you are allegedly in a democracy, or am I just mocking your mockracy?lol

Oh yeh, just one last point, you could roll up all your NWO leaders and Putin would still be worth ten times their total. Putin is the only global statesman and he has effectively become the leader of the free world. By definition, this means that the NWO is not free, I just wonder how long this comment will remain up?lol

by: Magy from: Romania
July 29, 2014 3:01 AM
While I had some doubts about US and Russia being in a war, I guess any doubt is shattered now. Not a conventional one, but an economical and public relations one. The war on terror was pretty much abandoned, I guess Obama is realizing that he risks upsetting the Arab states, and instead he thinks US needs another brand new enemy. So, the industrial military complex will have new jobs and business to do...

by: Regula from: USA
July 29, 2014 2:48 AM
The US was - apparently until recently, assuming the US accusations are true - the only nation who researched and tested nuclear weapons and who used them in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan to the effect of increasing tragically the number of malformed and genetically damaged babies in Iraq. And now it wants to accuse Russia of breaking a treaty? When did the US keep any treaty if it wasn't convenient to do so anymore?
In Response

by: Tom Murphy from: American heartland
July 30, 2014 10:12 AM
Your comment about imaginary use of nuclear weapons Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan puts you in the category of delusional thinkers. Please consult historical and internet sources on the use of nuclear weapons in warfare and make a thoughtfully considered retraction of your comments. Persons like yourself, making inflamatory statements, only moves the world closer to nuclear warfare - not farther away.

by: Guy from: Los Angeles, CA
July 29, 2014 2:42 AM
Great, so now Obama can go ahead and do nothing about this as well.

by: Stephen from: USA
July 29, 2014 2:24 AM
For bogus reasons we invade and destroy Iraq and Afghanistan, support the toppling of the democratically elected Ukrainian government, spy on the rest of the world, support and fund the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, shoot down domestic airliners (Air Iran Flight 655, 1988), and then we declare ourselves policeman to the world! I don't think we have the moral high ground. Our statue of liberty is crying.
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