The Obama administration said yesterday that Russia has violated a 1987 nuclear missile treaty with the testing of a ground based cruise missile test. A high ranking official stated, “is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now.”
“The United States is committed to the viability of the I.N.F. Treaty,” the official said. “We encourage Russia to return to compliance with its obligations under the Treaty and to eliminate any prohibited items in a verifiable manner.”
This comes as there is increasing tension between the United States and Russia over actions taken in the Ukraine. Since the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight 17, relations between the two countries has cooled.
The flight was stated to be by pro-Russian separatists, and countered by Russia by stating the CIA was behind the action. And a few days ago the US charged Russia with firing artillery shells into the Ukraine, something Russia has since denied.
Now coming on this is the charge that Russia had violated the treaty. Such actions do not help President Obama in the administration wanting to further reduce nuclear stockpiles of both countries by even more than previous treaties stated. However, the dismissal of allegations by Russia will not go over well with Republicans in Congress. Add in recent accusations by conservatives on Obama’s war against the military, and this latest action will not win many to help him out.
Of course everyone recalls Obama’s quote towards Putin before the 2012 election, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” Obama has no received much flexibility, and many of Romney’s predictions about Russia now are coming true.
Mr. Obama, now it is now time to stop leading from behind, and lead from the front.