Senators push vote to condemn Russia's 'reckless actions'

Senators push vote to condemn Russia's 'reckless actions'
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Members of the Senator Foreign Relations Committee from both parties are seeking to formally condemn Russia for a series of aggressive actions, including buzzing U.S. ships and aircraft and violating an arms control treaty.

Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-Colo.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonScott Walker considering running for Wisconsin governor or Senate: report GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers The Hill's 12:30 Report: O'Rourke jumps into 2020 fray MORE (R-Wis.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Acting Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange William Barr is right man for the times MORE (D-N.J.), Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischTrump pick for Saudi ambassador defends US relationship with Riyadh Briefing calms senators' nerves after Trump-Kim summit Chris Evans talks NATO, Marvel secrets on Capitol Hill MORE (R-Idaho) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law Overnight Energy: EPA moves to raise ethanol levels in gasoline | Dems look to counter White House climate council | Zinke cleared of allegations tied to special election MORE (D-N.H.) introduced a resolution that would condemn Russia for its actions and call on the United States and its allies to pressure Russia to stop.

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“The United States and the international community must stand strong against Russian aggression and the Kremlin’s ongoing efforts to undermine the sovereignty of its neighbors,” Shaheen said in a written statement.

“Moscow’s provocative actions now endanger U.S. and allied service members, and this is unacceptable. We strongly condemn Russia’s reckless actions, and we must not tolerate interference with the right of the United States and our allies to operate freely in international airspace and waters.”

The resolution references a slew of incidents where Russian aircraft have flown provocatively close to U.S. planes and ships.

Most recently, in April, Russian aircraft repeatedly buzzed the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea, and a Russian aircraft barrel rolled over a U.S. reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the same area.

Those incidents followed one in January when a Russian fighter jet flew within 15 feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Black Sea.

The resolution also highlights Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, an agreement between the United States and Russia that bans the use of intermediate-range ground-launched nuclear and conventional ballistic and cruise missiles.

The United States first determined in 2014 Russia violated the treaty by testing the missiles.

In addition to condemning Russia and calling for a U.S. and allied response, the senators’ resolution would call on Russia to stop its behavior and reaffirm the right of the United States to operate aircraft and ships in international airspace and waters.

“Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has become increasingly assertive and aggressive militarily,” Perdue said in a written statement. “We’ve recently seen Russian military personnel taunting U.S. military units with provocative military maneuvers. Not only are these actions irresponsible, but they also endanger the lives of American and Russian soldiers alike and fly in the face of decades-long agreements between our two nations.”

In statements, the senators said the United States must be clear about its condemnation of Russia’s behavior to send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“If President Putin continues to flex his muscles assuming there will be no consequences,” Menendez said, “he is mistaken.”