This was despite the fact that at the same time, US officials believed Russia had tested a new ground-launched cruise missile.
Today the New York Times reported the Obama administration knew about the prohibited Russian missile testing for several years.
The New York Times reported:
The United States informed its NATO allies this month that Russia had tested a new ground-launched cruise missile, raising concerns about Moscow’s compliance with a landmark arms control accord.
American officials believe Russia began conducting flight tests of the missile as early as 2008. Such tests are prohibited by the treaty banning medium-range missiles that was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader at the time, and that has long been viewed as one of the bedrock accords that brought an end to the Cold War.
Beginning in May, Rose Gottemoeller, the State Department’s senior arms control official, has repeatedly raised the missile tests with Russian officials, who have responded that they investigated the matter and consider the case to be closed. But Obama administration officials are not yet ready to formally declare the tests of the missile, which has not been deployed, to be a violation of the 1987 treaty.
With President Obama pledging to seek deeper cuts in nuclear arms, the State Department has been trying to find a way to resolve the compliance issue, preserve the treaty and keep the door open to future arms control accords.
“The United States never hesitates to raise treaty compliance concerns with Russia, and this issue is no exception,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said. “There’s an ongoing review process, and we wouldn’t want to speculate or prejudge the outcome.”
For the record… Josh Rogin broke this same story at the Daily Beast back in November.