Sen. Jim Risch

Sen. Jim Risch

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, who is in line to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next year if Republicans keep their Senate majority, issued a statement Monday unequivocally supporting President Trump’s move to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.

“I support the move toward withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. At a time when the United States and the Soviet Union were the only global superpowers, the INF Treaty was a landmark agreement that helped provide stability and security in Europe,” Risch said. “For the past several years, the Russian government has systematically violated the INF Treaty and deployed systems around Europe that undermine the stability that the INF Treaty helped create. Russian actions represent a material breach of the Treaty, and it is abundantly clear, the United States is the only country limited by the INF Treaty.

“In addition, new strategic threats from a rising China requires the United States to consider the alliances we have around the world and the commitments to uphold international security,” the Idaho GOP senator said. “The United States cannot help provide effective deterrence in Asia as long as we are limited by the INF treaty. The time has come to set the Treaty aside and develop alternative avenues toward the security the treaty once provided.”

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.