House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce proposed Friday to sanction Russia for its violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty through an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“For years now, Vladimir Putin has blatantly disregarded Russia’s obligations under the landmark INF Treaty. His recent deployment of banned nuclear-tipped missiles poses serious threats to U.S. national security interests. And it’s just one more example of Russian aggression that undermines global stability,” Royce said in a statement.
The House version of the NDAA would enable the U.S. to develop an intermediate-range missile similar to what Russia has already created, which is in violation of the terms of the treaty.
Additionally, the bill limits President Trump’s capability to expand a new START treaty beyond its 2021 expiration date — if Trump cannot confirm that problems related the INF have been dealt with.
Royce added, “The Russians were not held accountable as they developed and tested these missiles. The U.S. cannot continue with this failed approach as Putin sends them into the field. This amendment will impose sanctions on Russia for its violations of the INF Treaty, curb Russia’s ability to produce advanced conventional weapons, and target state sponsors of terrorism who buy them.”
Royce’s amendment comes on the day that Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the president’s overseas trip to Europe, and a day after the U.S. agreed to sell Poland a missile defense system. This move reverses the Obama administration’s policy that scrapped the Polish missile defense program proposed by the Bush administration.