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Editorial: Now, a wake-up call on nukes

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With all the major problems facing the world right now, from the spread of warfare to the spread of deadly disease, it would be easy to overlook the very serious accusation the Obama administration is making that Russia has violated a 26-year-old nuclear weapons treaty.

A recent State Department report on compliance of arms control agreements accuses Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that President Ronald Reagan signed with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

The administration has not said where or when the violation occurred, but retired Russian Lt. Gen. Yevgeniy Buzhinsky said the accusations date back to 2009 and claimed the current complaints were part of an “information war … being waged against Russia.”

In a page right out of the Cold War, Buzhinsky accused the United States of also falling short of its treaty obligations, but the Pentagon said the United States is in full compliance.

Now that negotiations aimed producing a multinational agreement that would curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions have been put on hold for several months, the administration would be wise to consider the current problems with the Russian accord as a wake-up call.

It should remember that treaties are good only when they can be monitored and are followed.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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