Russia violated 1987 missile treaty, US says

By Karen DeYoung

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has determined that Russia violated a 1987 treaty on intermediate-range missiles by testing a ground-launched cruise missile, a senior administration official said.

The violation, which began some years ago, is included in a 2014 compliance report on the treaty to be released Tuesday and was the subject of a letter President Barack Obama sent Monday to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“This is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now,” the official said. “We encourage Russia to return to compliance with its obligations … and to eliminate any prohibited items in a verifiable manner.”

It was unclear how long the testing lasted, or whether it was ongoing. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that “we have notified Russia of our determination and are prepared to discuss this in a senior-level bilateral dialogue immediately.”

Obama’s letter to Putin was first reported online Monday by The New York Times, which said that Russia began testing the missiles in 2008 and that the State Department first raised the possibility of a violation with Russian officials in 2013. At the time, the paper said, Russia said it had looked into the matter and considered it closed.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, prohibits possession, production or flight testing of a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles, or possession or production of launchers of such missiles.

News of the alleged violation comes as relations between the United States and Russia are seriously strained over Russia’s backing of separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine. Obama administration officials have said that, despite their growing differences and the imposition of U.S. economic sanctions over Ukraine, Moscow has continued to cooperate with Washington on a range of nuclear and other foreign policy issues.

More in Local News

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Foundation awards grants to Arlington schools

The Arlington Education Foundation on Nov. 13 presented a check to the… Continue reading

Snohomish County firefighters head to California for 18 days

They’re from Fire District 26 in Gold Bar, Getchell Fire and Fire District 7.

State commission reprimands Snohomish County judge for DUI

Judge Marybeth Dingledy had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail.

Driver arrested after car strikes pedestrian in Everett

The pedestrian was crossing the road near 12th Street and Broadway. He was injured.

Active Casino Road volunteer honored for work

Molina Healthcare recently honored Jorge Galindo, from Everett, as one of its… Continue reading

Over $12K raised to InspireHER

InspireHER, a local organization that encourages female empowerment, raised over $12,000 at… Continue reading

Most Read