Washington (February 14, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after The New York Timesreported that Russia violated the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by deploying a new ground-launched cruise missile. The INF, which was originally negotiated between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, is vital to security in Europe, and represents a key agreement for reducing the global risk of nuclear war. This report about Russia’s violation follows a Reuters story that President Donald Trump, in a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was ignorant of the details of the New START Treaty, which limits Russian strategic nuclear deployments, and referred to the treaty as a “bad deal”.
“Media reports that Russia has violated the INF treaty by deploying new intermediate range nuclear missiles are deeply troubling. I call on Russia to immediately and unconditionally decommission these weapons and return to compliance with the treaty. It is imperative that President Trump act decisively to push Russia back into compliance with the INF, first and foremost by calling an immediate emergency meeting of the treaty’s Special Verification Commission. The Trump administration should reaffirm its commitment to this vital arms control agreement.
“It is past time for President Trump to demonstrate resolve to represent America’s interests in his engagement with Russia. Questions surrounding the relationships of President Trump and several of his campaign and administration staff with Russia, combined with the ignorance he displayed of the New START Treaty, increase the risk of a resurgent nuclear arms race with Russia and imperil the progress made by both Republican and Democratic presidents to ensure the security of the American people.”