Senators push vote to condemn Russia’s ‘reckless actions’


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 Gardner (R-Colo.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Jeanne Shaheen (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.

{mosads}“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.”

Tags Bob Menendez Cory Gardner Jeanne Shaheen Jim Risch Ron Johnson
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