In 2008, Russia carried out a test of a cruise missile which US officials argued might conceivably violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). This was first brought up by US officials in 2014, during the anti-Russia hysteria surrounding the East Ukraine civil war.
Two and a half years later, tensions with Russia are on the rise again, so officials appear to have decided that the exact same 2008 test is suddenly a huge thing again, with a number of Congressional hawks issuing a letter claiming the Russian test was an “egregious” violation, and demanding that the Obama Administration “impose penalties” on Russia over it.
Russia had threatened to withdraw from the INF over NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe, saying it changed the balance of power in the region. They were also riled by the Bush Administration’s threats to install missile defense along the Russian frontier.
The missiles in question are a multi-stage system Russia designed which are aimed to technically comply with the letter of the treaty, while expanding intermediate range capabilities in ways that the treaty was meant to forbid. The US has made similar developments over the years since 1987.
With US officials riled at Russia over Aleppo, and presenting the fighting in the city as a “holocaust,” they have also brought up several other grievances they have with Russia, accusing them of everything from treaty violations to supporting Donald Trump.
It’s interesting to note, however, that most of the grievances aren’t particularly new, and didn’t have a lot of meat to them the last time they brought them up. The effort seems to be to just keep Russia’s name out there, and always in a negative light.
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