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Did Russian missile tests violate 1987 treaty with Soviet Union?

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Russian missile tests may have violated the treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, U.S. officials say.

The United States told other NATO countries this month of a test on a ground-based cruise missile, the New York Times reported Wednesday. The test may have been banned by the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

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Russia has responded to U.S. queries about the test by saying there has been an investigation, the Times said. The Obama administration has been trying to preserve the treaty and has not yet aggressively pursued the matter.

"The United States never hesitates to raise treaty compliance concerns with Russia, and this issue is no exception," Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said. "There's an ongoing review process, and we wouldn't want to speculate or prejudge the outcome."

Republicans in Congress have urged President Obama and other top officials to be more open about suspected treaty violations and to come down harder on Russia. A group of Republican senators, led by Jim Risch of Idaho, have proposed a law that would require the administration to share any warnings passed to NATO with Congress.

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