Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced the Intermediate-Range Forces Treaty (INF) Preservation Act, legislation that would allow the United States to take steps to bring Russia back into compliance with the INF Treaty and begin developing similar missile systems. U.S. Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Mike Rogers (R-AL) introduced companion legislation in the House.
“Russia’s mounting violations of the INF Treaty, including testing and now brazenly deploying ground-launched cruise missiles with intermediate range, pose grave threats to the United States and our European allies,” said Rubio. “This legislation makes clear that Russia will face real consequences if it continues its dangerous and destabilizing behavior.”
“If Russia is going to test and deploy intermediate range cruise missiles, then logic dictates that we respond,” said Cotton. “Pleading with the Russian regime to uphold its treaty obligations won’t bring it into compliance, but strengthening our nuclear forces in Europe very well might. We’re offering this legislation so we can finally put clear, firm boundaries on Russia’s unchecked aggression.”
“Russia has a troubling track record of violating treaties,” said Johnson. “The United States must begin to deal with the Russian regime firmly and from a position of strength, and this bill aims to do just that.”
On Tuesday, reports surface indicating that Russia secretly deployed a new cruise missile in violation of the INF treaty. This legislation states that the Russian violation has crossed the material breach threshold allowing the United States to take steps to bring Russia back into compliance, and begin developing similar missile systems. The steps to bring Russia back into compliance included in the legislation are:
- Funding counter-force, active-defense, and countervailing-strike activities identified in the Section 1243(d) report of FY16 NDAA;
- Establishment of a program of record for a dual-capable road-mobile ground launched missile system with INF Ranges;
- Aggressively seeking additional missile defense assets;
- Facilitating transfer of INF range systems to allied countries;
- Limiting funds for New START extension or OST activities until Russia returns to compliance; and
- A policy review on determination of RS-26 as countable under New START.