Nine Republican senators urge Trump to pursue tough Russian Federation policy

In response, Trump seemed to draw a moral equivalence between Russian Federation and the United States.

And others in the Trump Administration continue criticism of Russian Federation - most recently the conviction of Alexei Navalny, a Putin critic and opponent. "Therefore, the United States and Russian Federation have a special responsibility", he noted. "I have a general suspicion that he was not familiar with that treaty or really for that matter with other arms control treaties that proceeded it or really the whole sequence of events from 1991 through 2012", after the Soviet Union fell. Those comments echoed comments by Putin that same day, who said that strengthening his country's nuclear capabilities should be a chief military objective in the coming year. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov went further, warning that any attempt to revise the Iran nuclear deal would be an inadvisable and unsafe move, like "opening a Pandora's box".

"The United States should not ease sanctions on Russia until (President Vladimir) Putin abandons his illegal annexation of Crimea, verifiably and permanently ends Russian aggression in Ukraine, and fully implements the Minsk accords", Rubio said in a statement announcing the legislation.

"They have sanctions on Russia - let's see if we can make some good deals with Russia", Trump was reported as saying, according to Reuters and other news outlets.

Trump told Putin that the treaty, known as New START, was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, according to a report by Reuters.

Last fall Rubio was one of the first and most ardent Republicans to disavow any damaging information being leaked about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton because Rubio was convinced by intelligence reports that the information came from Putin.

After visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg, Pahor will travel to Kiev to meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Moscow is ostensibly isolated and subject to sanctions.

He was not alone in his sharp condemnations of Russian Federation and Putin. Obviously why would we have to cut a deal to get him to do what he claims to already be doing? His crime? Lobbying Congress to impose economic sanctions against Russia under the Magnistky Act, a law that itself was named for a Russian human rights lawyer who was beaten to death in Putin's jails. If they don't, the alternative could be disastrous.

"That might not be so palatable for the White House".

Trump needs to rethink ties with his Kremlin comrade.

  • Leroy Wright